Unparalleled Experience In Admiralty And Maritime Injury Law

Can you get hypothermia on a warm day?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2024 | Boating Accidents

With spring fully in swing and summer on the way, the waters around Florida are increasingly warm and inviting to boaters

Don’t be fooled, however: Contrary to popular belief, hypothermia doesn’t need freezing temperatures to be an issue in the water. 

Hypothermia can set in at any temperature – it just takes longer in warm water

Water is one of the most efficient conductors of heat, capable of sapping the heat from your body roughly 26 times faster than the air at the same temperatures. 

While people can survive indefinitely (as long as exhaustion or unconsciousness doesn’t set in) in water that’s over 70 degrees, the odds of hypothermia rapidly increase once the water temperature goes lower. In water that’s below 70 degrees, you can become hypothermic in as little as two hours, and that time is cut in half if the temp falls below 60. 

What does hypothermia look like? Early signs of hypothermia include shivering, fatigue, impaired coordination and confusion. Since hypothermia slows down a victim’s central nervous system, victims may also develop slurred speech, a low heart rate and a thready pulse. In extreme cases, they can develop long-term complications that include cellular damage to their extremities (hands, fingers, feet and toes) akin to frostbite and internal organ damage to their heart, kidneys and liver. Death is also possible. 

If you or your loved ones are injured in a boating accident due to hypothermia, you do have legal options. Learning more can help you find out if you have a valid personal injury case and the right to compensation.