UNDATED (WJON News) -- With Minnesota's Fishing Opener this weekend, the Department of Natural Resources is reminding anglers to be cautious around cold water temperatures.

The DNR says a cool spring has prevented the state's waters from reaching safe temperatures. Cold water immersion can kill in several ways and officials say many people die before they become hypothermic.

In the first 2-3 minutes, gasping, hyperventilation and panic can set in. Drowning can occur if the victim isn't wearing a life jacket.

Within the first 30 minutes, officials say swim failure can occur as the cold water affects your legs, arms and your ability to keep your head above water.

After 30 minutes, hypothermia can set in including gradual loss of consciousness.

Authorities say the key is wearing a life jacket. It allows you to get your breathing under control, formulate a plan, focus on slowing the heat loss, and try self-rescue if possible.

For more tips on how to survive a cold water event and safe boating tips, visit the DNR's webpage on cold water safety.





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