With the unofficial start of summer just days away, experts are warning residents to stay out of the water this holiday weekend.
Experts said water temperatures in Connecticut are still in the 50's and that means hypothermia can set in quickly.
"Even though it's a beautiful 75 degree day in the air, that water is still chilly, and it still will be for the next month or so,” Kathleen Burns with the Connecticut Marine Trades Association said.
Deep River resident Shirley Fox was getting ready on Monday for a summer on the water. She and her husband will spend the next few months on their boat. They said they know they need to be extra careful around Memorial Day weekend.
"Hypothermia, they can get hurt various ways,” Fox said. “People always think boating is such a casual thing but it really isn't. You really have to think about safety number one."
On Sunday morning, a family fishing trip in North Stonington ended in tragedy. Officials said a father and son were in a canoe when it tipped over. The son made it to shore, but his 51-year-old father, Peter R. Fajayan, of New London, did not.
“We do ask that everyone please be very aware of where your life jacket are. And if at all possible to please try to wear them at all times,” Sgt. Chris Dwyer with the State Environmental Police said. “So we can prevent a tragedy like this.”
Burns said the first thing to do if you tip over is try to solidify yourself on something such as your boat.
"It's just really important to have the ability to keep yourself buoyant, to find a way out of the water as quickly as possible,” Burns said. “Get yourself to shore, get yourself on top of the vessel, but most important it's going to be that life jacket that's going to help you do that."
Burns said the waters will be safe to swim in a couple of weeks. She added that’s usually around mid-June when the kids are getting out of school.
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