Gulf of Mexico: More Deadly Than We Think

10-foot seas, 40-mph winds, hypothermia threaten
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 3, 2009 6:42 AM CST
U.S. Coast Guard Captain Timothy Close, center, briefs the media during a news conference at the U.S. Coast Guard station in St. Petersburg, Fla., yesterday.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
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(Newser) – People may imagine the Gulf of Mexico as a “pond,” but they’ve never seen it “get nasty” in a cold front, writes Terry Tomalin in the St. Petersburg Times. Boaters, like the missing NFL players, can face 10-foot seas and and 40-mph winds. “All it takes is one 8-foot wave to swamp a boat,” and then hypothermia looms, with offshore water temps in the mid to low 60s. "Even in a wetsuit, you will become chilled within an hour."

If after a few hours a victim haven’t been saved, he’s “on the losing end of a mathematical equation.”