GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - When there is a chill in the air, there’s also a chill in the water and that can create deadly consequences for outdoor enthusiasts.
If you fall out of the boat into the water or off the pier into the water, it’s always dangerous. But during the winter time, there’s an additional problem. It’s cold out here. The water is in the 40-degree range. And hypothermia is a real danger.
“Within one minute of time, you could actually be in cold water shock,” said Gulfport Deputy Fire Chief Billy Kelly. “You’d be gasping for air, hyper ventilating. And that’s what will cause you to faint in the water. And that’s what we don’t want.”
Gulfport Deputy Fire Chief knows the dangers. His team rescued a man earlier this month as he struggled in the cold water of the Mississippi Sound.
Fortunately, he survived. James Wilburn, learned in the military about cold water training.
“It’s no fun,” he said. “There’s nothing you can do to get warm. Unless you strip down, completely. Take all that wet stuff off, dry off and put some dry stuff own and find some heat somewhere.”
Brandon Tew is a tournament fisherman and said preparation in the key, no matter the weather.
“Safety is the main thing on a boat,” said Tew. “You always got to have a backup plan in case any of things happen. Versus hot or cold. It doesn’t really matter. Losing your life, is losing your life.”