Weather Forecast


County removing navigational buoys on area waters: Officials warn of colder water temperatures

BEMIDJI — Autumn is now upon us, and the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office is cautioning residents to be careful on area waters.

Beltrami County Sheriff’s Recreation Enforcement Division deputies are removing navigational buoys from lakes and rivers. Although the buoys will not be present, the no-wake zone ordinance will still be enforced.

"We are asking the public to take extra precautions when traveling on the waters," Chief Deputy Ernie Beitel said in a press release. "With duck hunting and other fall sports taking place, we would also like to remind boaters to wear their lifejackets."

Cooler weather means colder waters, which can cause hypothermia, an immediate life-threatening condition once a person plunges into the water.

Beitel urges people to inform someone where they are going and when they will return and carry a GPS device to be sure they can be located should a rescue be needed.

Dangers of hypothermia

Cold water shock can cause a person to inadvertently inhale water and drown. The temperature decrease can suddenly increase blood pressure and cardiac arrest is possible within three minutes of falling into the water.

Swim failure occurs between three and 30 minutes of immersion. The frigid water can stiffen muscles, which impacts a person’s ability to stay afloat, zip a life vest or get into a boat nearly impossible.

Immersion hypothermia begins after 30 minutes. The body core temperature falls, unconsciousness follows and it can result in death. Post-immersion collapse can occur after a rescue. Cold blood that is trapped in extremities warms and rushes to the heart. The jolt can cause heart failure. Water inhaled can also damage the heart and lungs.

Hypothermia symptoms

- Continual shivering

- Poor coordination

- Slowing of pace—hanging back

- Increasingly numb hands and feet (this leads to stumbling, clumsiness, and loss of dexterity)

- Dazed and confused behavior (victim may be careless and forgetful)

- Slurred and slow speech (victim may be slow to respond to questions)

- Hallucinations

- Dilated pupils (open)

- Decreased attention span

- Changes in personality often to the exact opposite of victim’s usual personality.

Source: Dangers of hypothermia and hypothermia symptoms info provided by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources,


Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
(218) 333-9796