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As temperatures heat up, experts offer tips on how to stay safe on the water this summer

Our hot weather means it's a perfect time to head out to the lake, but the temperature of the air doesn't mean the water is warm yet.

MINNEAPOLIS — Summer has arrived and Minnesotans are back doing some of their favorite activities like boating, fishing and swimming.

However, in the last few weeks there have been several drownings and water emergencies which have served as tragic reminders that they can happen to anyone.  

Our hot weather means it's a perfect time to head out to the lake, but the temperature of the air doesn't mean the water is warm yet.

There have been at least four drownings within the last week across the metro area, which medical experts say is four too many.

This time of year drownings can be due to a number of factor like not knowing how to swim, lack of safety equipment, or being intoxicated. 

When you factor in the current water temperatures, hypothermia could also be to blame.

"We've got 50's up north, and then you come down to Minnetonka its 68, Medicine Lake 64, Gull Lake 64 so still chilly, you have to be careful," said KARE 11's Chief Meteorologist Belinda Jensen. 

"It takes less than about 15 minutes in 50 degree temperature water for someone to lose their ability to grab things with their hands, to make those fine movements and not too much longer before their ability to swim effectively is impacted," said Dr. Hannah Lichtsinn, a Primary Care Doctor with HCMC. 

According to the Minnesota DNR, the ideal water temp to swim safely should be at least 70 degrees.

"The good news is with this heatwave coming in starting really now through next week those water temperatures are going to warm up quicker than they typically would otherwise," said Jensen. 

As warmer weather draws more people out on the water, medical experts say always remember to wear a life jacket, especially if boating alone, have safety plan in place, and know where your flotation devices are located.

"People need to stay really aware of their limits and the limits of the people around them," said Dr. Lichtsinn. 

Water temperatures are still pretty seasonal for this time of the year, and some of the deeper lakes will take a little longer to warm up.