Stay safe this summer – don’t overlook swimming lessons

National Summer Safety Week runs May 1st – 7th

In the summer months, especially as the heat rises across the country, there’s not much more tantalizing than the call of a cool, crisp body of water.

Whether it’s swimming, boating, fishing or any number of other recreational activities, the common denominator is a desire to be in the water and cool down.

To mark this year’s National Summer Safety Week, May 1st – 7th, the Canada Safety Council and the Lifesaving Society Canada would like to bring awareness to the other side of water safety ­– those who end up in the water despite having no intention to do so.

“Being near or in the water is great way to enjoy the summer months and when we think about those enjoyable moments we naturally associate getting in the water with a conscious decision to do so,” said Gareth Jones, President and CEO of the Canada Safety Council. “But too frequently, we see people drown without intending on even dipping their toe in the water, and these types of tragedies are entirely avoidable.”

According to statistics from the Drowning Prevention Research Centre, slightly fewer than 500 Canadians drown every year on average — a disproportionate amount of which are northern, Indigenous, new Canadians or a combination thereof. Of these, more than 900 Canadians drowned between 2008 and 2017 due to unintentional water entry.

“Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death in the county and sadly many of those who did drown never intended to go into the water and were often found within 15 metres of safety,” said Wendy Schultenkamper, director of operations at Lifesaving Society Canada.

“Learning to swim, swimming in lifeguard supervised settings and effective supervision of children around the water can have the biggest impact on drowning statistics.”

Whether you intend to be in the water or not, one precautionary step that can be lifesaving — in a very literal sense — is to take swimming lessons.

A proper education in the basics can result in a more instinctual response when hitting the water. The Lifesaving Society also administers the Swim to Survive program, which teaches skills required specifically to survive a fall into deep water and is available across Canada.

Here are a few more tips on keeping your water and water-adjacent activities safe and enjoyable this summer!

If you are planning on being around water, bring someone with you. A whopping 74 per cent of unintentional water entry deaths occurred when the victim was alone.

For the same reason, ensure that children are adequately supervised around water, and especially when around barrier-free bodies of water.

When out on a boat, wear your lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD)! It is not enough to have it accessible — you might not have the time to locate it and put it on before an incident occurs.

The Canada Safety Council and Lifesaving Society Canada wish you a happy and safe summer on the water!


– 30 –

Just Posted

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Alberta reports 100 new cases of COVID-19

The Central zone sits at 218 active cases

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer drops to 71 active cases of COVID-19

Province adds 127 new cases of the virus

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

(Black Press File Photo)
Sylvan Lake RCMP charge youth with weapons offences

The public helped to identify the individual involved in an incident at the pier earlier this month

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Orange shirts, shoes, flowers and messages are displayed on the steps outside the legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 following a ceremony hosted by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations in honour of the 215 residential school children whose remains have been discovered buried near the facility in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Alberta city cancels Canada Day fireworks at site of former residential school

City of St. Albert says that the are where the display was planned, is the site of the former Youville Residential School

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

Most Read