Heat wave leads to warning from Coast Guard about Lake Erie water temperature

The heat wave is prompting a warning from the United States Coast Guard, reminding boaters and swimmers that the water temperature in Lake Erie is still relatively cold.

Three people have lost their lives on the lake in the past week, and the Coast Guard says cold water may have played a role in each of those cases.  The water temperature in the lake is a relatively cool 70 degrees and it's colder the farther you get away from the shore, increasing the risk of hypothermia.

"Just over the past weekend, we've had individuals enter the water, you know, either for recreation purposes or to go after someone else and they unfortunately lost their lives because the water temperature was too cold and they were unable to make it back to shore," said Chief Bobby Nash with the U.S. Coast Guard.

That's why the Coast Guard is encouraging anyone enjoying the lake during the heat wave to take a tried and true precaution. "Even the strongest swimmers in 70-degree water can become tired and have muscle fatigue because it is still considered cold water so we want folks who are, you know, very familiar with the water or not familiar with the water, have a life jacket on."