Cold Water Safety Reminder From Salem Fire Department

river rapids

Even thought the weather is warm, rivers and lakes are still very cold and may have hidden dangers.

​The Salem Fire Department reminds everyone to maintain an awareness of the effects of cold water temperatures as summer draws near. The warm and sunny weather is upon us and draws many to local bodies of water for various recreational purposes. However, water temperatures remain dangerously cold this time of year, even though the air temperature is warm and the sun is out.

Salem Fire Department Battalion Chief and Water Rescue Team Leader Ty Gunesch reminds everyone to "be aware that the water temperature may be colder than you think and cause a rapid drop in your body temperature."

According to the National Center for Cold Water Safety: "Cold water can kill you in less than a minute." A rapid drop in body temperature could impact a person's ability to reach shore.

The National Center for Cold Water Safety recommends the following "Five Gold Rules"

  1. Always Wear Your Personal Flotation Device
  2. Always Dress For The Water Temperature
  3. Field-Test Your Gear
  4. Swim-Test Your Gear Every Time You Go Out
  5. Imagine The Worst That Could Happen and Plan For It

Fire Chief Mike Niblock encourages everyone to "safely enjoy all the recreational activities the City of Salem has to offer, but to be especially mindful of water temperatures this time of year."

Contact us

Salem Fire Department
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
370 Trade ST SE
Salem OR 97301
Mailing address:
370 Trade ST SE
Salem OR 97301
503-588-6245Fire non-emergency number. For emergencies, dial 9-1-1.
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