Deputies urge caution ahead of Coeur d'Alene boating season - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Deputies urge caution ahead of Coeur d'Alene boating season

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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -

While the weather is warming up in Coeur d'Alene, sheriff's deputies in Kootenai County are warning boaters that the water is still cold, so they say if you plan on going out on the water, be cautious.

Jeff Underwood grew up boating in Coeur d'Alene. After years of navigating the lake, he has a pretty good idea of how to stay safe.

"Just use common sense," Underwood says.

Part of that common sense means staying on board.

"I have not jumped in yet. I don't have any interest in jumping in this water."

The sheriff's office says he's right.

"Anything under 70 degrees is cold. You're subject to hypothermia and it is deadly," says Deputy Bob Bjelland. After years with the Navy and then the sheriff's office, Bjelland has seen how serious the effects of hypothermia can be.

But he says as long as folks are cautious, they can have a safe and fun summer on North Idaho's natural playground.

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