Somebody on one of the FB paddling groups just posted pics of herself out on Lake Louise (a popular glacier-fed lake in the Canadian Rockies) in a rental canoe, wearing sandals, shorts, teeshirt and horse collar. Even the rental website for the concession there admits that the lake is "a frigid 5 degrees C " (41 F) and states “You don’t want to fall in…” No sh*t. Boggles the mind that their insurers permit this. They even tout taking children on a paddle to the end of the lake (which is below the vast Bow Glacier)!
Then again, the Canadian Rockies are the same place where I have spotted tourists in flip flops with tiny dogs on leashes traipsing over glacier ice-fields riddled with bottomless crevasses. We were on the Columbia Ice-field in full mountaineering kit doing rescue training some years ago when a bunch of such bozos wandered up from the nearby visitor center (ignoring the cautionary signs of course). When one of our instructors strongly cautioned them to get off the ice one of the tourons said “But you guys would rescue me if I fell in a crack, right?” Instructor (who had a thick Scots brogue): “Wrrrrong, mate.” Maybe it’s a natural population control. I do recall that at that time the Canadian Parks rescue services made it clear they would charge for costs anyone that they had to extract who was somewhere they were not supposed to be or if they failed to register at the trailhead. Rescues easily run to 5 figures, even 6 if helicopters are involved.
Full disclosure – in my mid-twenties I stupidly plunged (in a teeshirt and shorts) into one of those lovely blue glacier-fed lakes hoping for a bath during a weeklong backpacking trip in Banff. Instant blinding headache, lung-clenching gasp reflex and I had no control over my muscles. Fortunately it was not over my head and I was somehow able to roughly launch my semi-paralyzed carcass towards the steep rocky bank where I flailed and clawed my way out, choking and sputtering as I involuntarily gulped the icy water. This caused great amusement to my fellow hikers. Took me 15 minutes to stop shivering. I can still remember the shock of that immersion vividly.