Officials warn of swimming in cold water ahead of warmer weather - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Officials warn of swimming in cold water ahead of warmer weather

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

It may be heating up here in western Massachusetts, but lakes and ponds are still going to be icy cold.

State and local safety officials are warning those thinking about taking a dip to think twice.

With temperatures expected to reach up to 80 degrees this week, it can certainly feel like summer up here but the water feels much more like winter. 

"You have to be aware that water temperatures still stay pretty low," said West Springfield Fire Lt. Andrew McCoubrey. 
Currently, water temperatures in lakes and ponds are just 40 to 50 degrees and ocean temperatures remain 40 and below.

Even swimming for a short period of time can lead to hypothermia.

"At those temperatures hypothermia can still set in as early as an hour," Lt. McCoubrey noted. 
If you are exposed to icy water first responders told Western Mass News swimmers should look for those early signs of hypothermia.
"Shivering, nausea, lightheadedness," Lt. McCoubrey added. 
Cold water drains the body of heat 32 times faster than cold air.

As the weather gets better, more and more people are going to be jumping in the water, and if you see someone in danger, call 911.
State beaches will not have life-guards seven days a week until June 16.

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