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Traverse City, Mich. – It’s summer, but don’t be fooled – the Great Lakes are still dangerously cold.

The U.S. Coast Guard says water temperatures below 77 degrees can quickly cause hypothermia for someone who falls from a boat. All five of the lakes are well below that mark.

A sudden plunge into cold water can trigger a gasp reflex leading to inhalation of water and drowning.

In addition to wearing life jackets, the Coast Guard says mariners should dress according to the temperature of the water, not the air.

They also should file a float plan or at least inform others about where they’re going and when they expect to return.

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