THOUSAND ISLANDS, N.Y. (WWTI) — The United States Coast Guard of Alexandria Bay is warning residents along the coast to prepare for winter.

Although the boating season along the Thousand Islands has slowed down, it is important residents in the area protect themselves during the cold season. There are various factors that mariners should consider during the wintertime.

According to a post on the Coast Guard’s Facebook page, those in the Thousand Islands area should dress for the water, not for the weather. The water’s temperatures can be significantly colder than the air, sometimes by 20 degrees. The Coast Guard also warned that immersion in water can drop your body temperature 25 times faster than air, making it vital that mariners take the water temperatures into consideration.

They also provided information on what materials mariners should wear in the cold weather. They advised residents to avoid wearing cotton as although it’s a common material, it is ineffective at retaining body heat. This is because cotton will absorb water and sweat which is absorbed and will continue to drop your body temperature.

Instead, mariners should wear water-resistant, moisture-wicking fabrics along with a waterproof outer layer. Coast Guard crews implement these tips by wearing multiple layers of moisture-wicking materials underneath their waterproof dry suits and testing their effectiveness regularly. More information on the U.S. Coast Guard Alexandria Bay can be found on their Facebook page.