PEI

Parks Canada reminds beach goers to stay safe in and out of the water

Parks Canada is reminding beach goers to stay safe in and out of the water amid high temperatures.

In last 2 weeks, instances of heat exhaustion have occurred daily, according to surf guard contractor

Jessica Foster, the visitor services co-ordinator with Parks Canada, says surf guards have been busy this summer dealing with issues related to heat, unsupervised children and flotation devices.  (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

Parks Canada is reminding beach goers to stay safe in and out of the water this summer amid high temperatures.

Jessica Foster, the visitor services co-ordinator with Parks Canada, said it's important for people to be aware of the heat and how it can change throughout the day. 

She said surf guards have been busy this summer dealing with issues related to heat, unsupervised children and flotation devices. 

"Unfortunately … our surf guards have reported that they've had to respond to a number of incidents," she said.

"A large number of those are visitors who are using inflatables on the beaches."

Flotation devices not allowed

Jeremy Coffin, the surf guard contractor for Parks Canada, says for the last two weeks, surf guards have been helping people suffering from heat exhaustion daily. (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

Jeremy Coffin, the surf guard contractor for Parks Canada, said in the last two weeks, instances of heat exhaustion have occurred daily. He said patrons need to remain hydrated, eat and get in and out of the water on a regular basis.

Coffin said surf guards have also noticed a higher number of incidents related to flotation devices. 

"When you're using a [flotation] device, for instance a tube or a raft and there's an off-shore wind, they can be blown out at a high rate of speed," he said.

"And then the patrons that are on them are unable to either get back, or they risk falling off into significantly deep water and becoming a distressed swimmer."

He said flotation devices are not allowed on the beach, unless they are personal flotation devices worn by children.

Coffin said surf guards have also dealt with parents leaving their children unsupervised. 

"That has led to both water rescues and lost children on the beach."

He said it's important for parents to keep a close eye on their children and adhere to the visible signage. He encourages people to approach surf guards with whatever questions they may have. 

Surf conditions posted online

Jeremy Coffin, the surf guard contractor for Parks Canada, says it's important people pay attention to signs at the beach. (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

Foster said visitors can access the Parks Canada website for information on surf conditions or identify the colour coded flags located at the beach. 

"The supervised swim area is marked by yellow and red flags," she said.

"At the entrance to the beach we fly either a green flag for calm surf conditions, a yellow flag for moderate surf conditions and a red flag for dangerous surf conditions."

Foster said if beach conditions are moderate or dangerous, they are posted on the Parks Canada Facebook page and Twitter.

More P.E.I. news

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Isabella Zavarise is a video journalist with CBC in P.E.I. You can contact her at isabella.zavarise@cbc.ca

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?

now