Recent report shows over 10 000 Canadians died from drowning in the past 20 years. Experts say these tragedies can be prevented by following key safety tips while near water.
“Swim with a buddy, never swim alone, wear a PFD, be aware of your limits, so a lot of time risky behaviour is why we see drownings.” Dan Konoir, aquatic supervisor.
He says the best way to stay safe is to swim where there is a lifeguard, less than 1% percent of drownings occur in supervised areas.
If you are in a situation where someone is drowning, Konoir says it’s best not to risk your life by jumping in.
“Try reaching with a branch or a pole, or a towel, something that keeps you out of risk. Contact EMS right away, trained personnel can respond very quickly especially in a high risk environment like that.”
According to Stats Canada, males account for 82% of water related fatalities over the past 20 years. Victims were also most commonly found in open inland waters.
The life saving society says those at the highest risk of drowning are young children and seniors.
The report also shows drownings are most likely to occur in the summer, on weekends and in natural bodies of water.