Huddle together when in a group
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When alone in the water
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Your life may depend on a better understanding of cold water. Many suspected drowning victims actually die from cold exposure or hypothermia.

Hypothermia is a condition in which the body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Violent shivering develops which may give way to confusion and a loss of body movement.

If your boat capsizes,

-- try to get up on the boat, out of the water since water takes heat from you 25 times as fast as air does.

-- Wear your life jacket! This helps hold heat into the core areas of your body, and enables you to easily put yourself into the HELP position. HELP (Heat Escape Lessening Posture) by drawing limbs into your body; keep armpits and groin areas protected from unnecessary exposure - a lot of heat can be lost from those areas, as well as the head.

-- If several people are in the water, huddle together to share body heat.

-- Don't discard clothing. Clothing layers provide some warmth that may actually assist you in fighting hypothermia. This includes shoes and hats.

Other tips:

-- Dress warmly with wool clothing

-- Wear rain gear and stay dry