National Drowning Prevention Week– Stay safe in BC waters
B.C., Underwater Recovery Services
2021-07-19 09:56 PDT
Across Canada July 18-24, 2021 is National Drowning Prevention Week.
The Lifesaving Society of Canada designates this week to bring attention to drownings and drowning prevention especially in summer months when the warmer weather has people seeking out spaces outdoors for camping and water activities.
The BC RCMP wants to remind everyone to take necessary safety precautions to reduce the number of tragedies in BC’s waterways.
Whether it is as a result of individuals not paying attention to their surrounding areas, not wearing lifesaving devices, unsure of their swimming abilities, or unaware of the water conditions, the BC RCMP sees a rise in the number of drownings during summer months.
The BC RCMP’s Underwater Recovery Team (URT), which conducts investigations throughout the province, sees an increase in deaths due to drownings during the summer months, compared to the other seasons due to the fact that more people go to our lakes, rivers, and oceans when the weather is warmer.
We want to caution individuals who are not familiar with BC’s waters against finding themselves in precarious and consequential situations by not taking safety precautions and not being informed of the water conditions or being realistic about their swimming abilities, said Sergeant Steve Pebernat, URT Diving Coordinator.
Many of the recoveries we attend to are preventable. We have a steady increase of new Canadians or foreign nationals that have passed away in BC’s waters.
The URT would like to remind people that the water in British Columbia can be cold, and many creeks and rivers have strong currents, which is why it is important to always research and plan ahead, let someone know where you are going, and bring necessary equipment to navigate BC waters, Added Sgt. Pebernat.
Some helpful reminders to help you stay safe this summer:
- Always swim with a buddy.
- Play and swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard where possible.
- Don’t leave children unsupervised. Drowning can occur in as little as 10 seconds.
- If you can’t swim, wear a lifejacket or PFD at all times.
- Stay alert! Observe the conditions closely before you step out onto the shoreline and keep an eye on incoming waves.
For more safety tips please visit the Lifesaving Society of BC.
BC RCMP Communication Services
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