Hypothermia Is Still a Risk During Summer Months


Is it possible to get hypothermia in the Atlantic Ocean during the summer months?


The short answer is yes. It is possible to get hypothermia during the summer months if you are in the Atlantic Ocean during June, July, August and September. While it may take longer for you to get hypothermia off the coast of the mid-Atlantic or Northeast states during the warmer months, it is still a risk that every commercial fisherman, maritime worker, and seaman should know about.

How Long Does it Take to Get Hypothermia in Warm Water?

The good news is that it takes longer to get hypothermia in warm water than it does in cold water. Thus, if you are thrown overboard off the coast of Long Island or Cape Cod in July you may have more time to get out of the water than if you had been thrown overboard in January.

However, that time is not unlimited. According to the Personal Flotation Device Manufacturers Association, a person can get hypothermia in:

  • 2-12 hours in water that is 70-80 degrees. Death from hypothermia may occur in as little as 3 hours.
  • 2-7 hours in water that is 60-70 degrees. Death from hypothermia may occur in 2-4 hours.
  • 1-2 hours in water that is 50-60 degrees. Death from hypothermia may occur in 1-6 hours.

The water temperature in parts of the central and Northern Atlantic stay below 80 degrees for much of the year. Accordingly, this is a risk that every maritime worker needs to know about every day of the year.

What if You’ve Already Been Hurt or a Loved One’s Been Killed?

If you have suffered hypothermia, or a complication of hypothermia, then it is important to learn more about your legal rights and possible recovery. Please download our FREE report, The Legal Rights of Injured Seamen and Other Commercial Mariners, and please contact us today to learn more.