Lifesaving Society Urges Water Safety Practices During Drowning Prevention Week
As National Drowning Prevention Week kicks off on Sunday, the Lifesaving Society Canada reminds everyone of some important safety tips to practice when around water.
Each year the events occur in the third week of July.
« The 3rd week of July is chosen every year because statistics show that this is when the highest number of drownings occur, » Lifesaving Society of Canada executive director Dale Miller said in a statement. Press release.
“Despite a downward trend, drowning remains the third leading cause of unintentional death in Canada.
According to the society, there have been 16 drownings in British Columbia so far, compared to 26 this time last year.
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Luckily for a Kelowna couple who enjoyed Okanagan Lake in their kayaks on Sunday, they were wearing tight-fitting life jackets. Jacque Morrow and his wife Valerie admitted that wasn’t always the case for them, but after a scary incident involving their dog in the middle of the lake, they plan to always wear a PFD when out on the water.
« I had to get out of the boat and go grab her (their dog) and put her in Val’s boat, and in the meantime my boat filled with water, » Jacque described.
« It rolled over in a rush and I don’t even know what would have happened if we hadn’t had our life jackets. »
The incident left the two feeling understandably shaken, but it was a good reminder to them to be ready to get out on the water.
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« Oh absolutely, that wasn’t fun, » Jacque said.
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The society added that Indigenous, Northern and New Canadians have disproportionately high drowning rates.
« In Canada, more than 400 people drown each year, making it the second leading cause of unintentional death in children and the third leading cause of unintentional death in adults, » Miller said.
“The Lifesaving Society’s mission is prevention, and we are aiming for zero drownings because we know they are all preventable.
Statistics show that almost 70% of drowning victims never intended to go into the water and were often within 15 meters of safety.
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During National Drowning Prevention Week, the company will educate Canadians and promote safety awareness.
To help reduce drownings, the society encourages all Canadians to:
- Take swimming lessons and basic first aid training.
- Wear a properly fitted life jacket when on a boat.
- Avoid alcohol or drugs when participating in water activities.
- Make sure children are under direct adult supervision when near unobstructed bodies of water.
- Make sure garden pools have a four-sided fence with a self-closing and locking gate.
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