Washington Post, Mar. 25.: " The body of an unidentified man clad in a life jacket and kayaking gear was found floating facedown in the Potomac River yesterday near Maryland's St. Clements Island, and a kayak believed to be the victim's was found washed ashore on the Virginia side, a Maryland official said.
A spokesman for the Marylands Dept. of Environmental Resources said the body was discovered by a boater at 12:23 pm and was brought ashore near Coltons Pt. by a St. Mary's County rescue boat.
The man, who was carrying no identification, was wearing a yellow and black Reebok jacket and pants, a green life jacket, and a kayak skirt, worn to keep water out of the vessel, Porcari said. He said the man was white, 45-50 years old and about six feet tall and weighed about 185 pounds.
Porcari said the man haad probably been in the 46-degree water a few hours. He added that the surface was choppy and the wind was blowing at 15-27mph. He said that at that temperature, a person can survive in the water about 40 minutes."
Not the cheeriest way to start spring but a friend mentioned this to me during a paddle this morning so I thought I'd start the annual "Spring conditions and safety issue" hoping that this might be new to some folks. A bothersome detail is that the newspaper quotes an authority on survival times which unfortunately leads people to believe that they can apply such figures to their circumstances without having the actual experience of rescues in the water that they are paddling in. In other words if a person "knows" they can do a self-rescue in summer time conditions in 5 minutes then given the experts charts they will be fine with 35 minutes to spare. With all respect to this person that died I'm guessing that an unprotected person falling into 46 degree water will find themselves in a life threatening situation in less than a minute, long before hypothermia or "expected survival times" come into effect.
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- Body of kayaker found in Potomac