Drowning Prevention Week highlights importance of safety around water
With more than 400 Canadians drowning in preventable water-related incidents each year, The Lifesaving Society reminds the public that much can be done to avert these tragedies.
National Drowning Prevention Week 2023 runs from July 16th-22nd and aims to draw attention and awareness to the prevalence of preventable drowning deaths.
In Saskatchewan between June 1-July 16, 2022, RCMP responded to eight drowning incidents. With North Battleford in such close proximity to many lakes and rivers, the City’s Director of Protective Services, Chief Lindsay Holm, reminds the public that boating safety is a major component of prevention.
“Operators of any watercraft should know all passengers on vessels need to wear the appropriate size of personal floatation device [PFD] based on the passenger’s height and weight,” commented Chief Holm. “Wearing a PFD that is not sized appropriately can also pose a safety risk for people.”
Chief Holm also advised that boating on the North Saskatchewan River can provide its own unique challenges for vessel operators. “Boaters can encounter strong currents with minimal wind speed, sandbars, and floating objects. All these factors can cause danger for boaters on the river.”
The Lifesaving Society also lists several other safety tips for swimmers and boaters to consider:
- Children should be directly supervised near water and within arm’s reach.
- Learning to swim is an important way to ensure that you survive a sudden and unexpected fall into the water.
- Stay sober when in, on, or around water – alcohol consumption is a factor in many water-related fatalities. Both alcohol and cannabis usage impair balance, judgement, and reflexes.
- Consider taking a first-aid course to ensure that you are equipped with knowledge to assist others in the event of a drowning-related incident.
The Battlefords CO-OP Aquatic Centre Aquatics Manager can assist with determining the appropriate fit for personal floatation devices - call 306-445-1791 for details.
For more information:
Candace Toma, Public & Intergovernmental Relations Coordinator
306-441-0713 | email@example.com