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Stay Safe from Excessive Heat When on the Water

Jun 05, 2023

Southern California is blessed with long, warm summers that last from July to September, with average daily high temperatures above 81 degrees Fahrenheit, according to High heat exposure is the silent killer that can bring on exhaustion, heat stroke, and other heat-related illnesses, especially when combined with strenuous activities like battling large ocean fish or racing your sailboat. While you may think being close to the water is safe on hot days, it’s better to be prepared.

The temperature is the same whether you are in the sun or the shade. However, being in direct sunlight makes it feel 10-15 degrees hotter, according to

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, here are the dos and don’ts for high-temperature exposure.

This recommendation may seem like a no-brainer, but carrying extra water onboard or in your backpack is a good idea. According to Boat US, boaters should keep a supply of bottled water in a locker or dry bilge area next to the hull, below the waterline. The water will stay cooler than the air temperature.

A float plan is important no matter what, but in case heat stroke or heat exhaustion sets in while you’re on the water, it’s good to have emergency contacts on land that know where you are and what you’re doing on the water that day.

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