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Despite Warm Temps, Cold Water Poses Hypothermia Risk At Minnesota Lakes Over Memorial Day Weekend

LAKE MINNETONKA, Minn. (WCCO) – Despite summer-like temperatures forecasted for the Memorial Day weekend, water temperatures in Minnesota lakes will be significantly colder. Water at Lake Minnetonka registered at 58 degrees on Thursday, according to Hennepin County Water Patrol.

"Some of the risks are definitely hypothermia," said Sgt. Troy Kostohroiz. "Within five minutes of falling in the water, you may get that gasp effect, you may lose tingling or sensation in your fingers, the ability to grasp onto a boat or get back into a boat."

Kostohroiz says alcohol consumption could increase the risk of hypothermia.

So far in 2022, two Minnesotans have died during water accidents. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says 90% of boating accident deaths involve someone not wearing a lifejacket. Minnesota law requires children under the age of ten to wear a lifejacket while inside a boat.

Kostohroiz says if you suspect yourself or someone you know is developing symptoms of hypothermia, the best thing to do is get them dry.

"We recommend that you wrap them up in a blanket, maybe get that wet clothing off of them. Keep them warm," he said.

The Hennepin County Water Patrol considers water temperatures under 70 degrees to be cold risk. Kostohroiz says he expects it could take until mid-June for water temperatures to reach the 70-degree threshold.

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