PEI

Stay safe while swimming: P.E.I. lifesaving society

Going for a swim seems like a great way to beat the heat currently blanketing the Island, but the Lifesaving Society P.E.I. Branch wants people to keep safety in mind when they take the plunge.

National Drowning Prevention Week reminds people of water safety rules

The Lifesaving Society P.E.I. Branch is reminding Islanders of water safety rules during National Drowning Prevention Week. (Brian Rodgers/CBC)

Going for a swim seems like a great way to beat the heat currently blanketing the Island, but the Lifesaving Society P.E.I. Branch wants people to keep safety in mind when they take the plunge.

It is National Drowning Prevention Week and branch president Adam Ross said they are encouraging people to remember to stay safe at the beach or by the pool. 

"Keep children within arm's reach when in or around water, always swimming with a buddy, never swimming alone, checking water conditions and surf conditions before heading out to the beach," he said. 

Ross said those reminders are to help curb behaviour that could lead to drownings.

Numbers decreasing

The 2016 Maritimes Drowning Report, prepared for the Lifesaving Society Canada by the Drowning Prevention Research Centre, does show a decrease in deaths from drownings across the Maritime region. 

"But there's still lots of work to do," said Ross.

He added drowning victims are still mostly male and most drownings are occurring in oceans, rivers and lakes. 

"Most drownings occur when they are doing recreational activities such as swimming, fishing, and boating. Swimming is number one." 

Ross said 86 per cent of the drownings that occur when people are boating are because the person wasn't wearing a personal flotation device. 

"Often people have PFDs on board or with them but they're not wearing them." 

Ross said alcohol is a risk factor in drowning deaths of swimmers. 

A social media campaign is highlighting the risk factors during National Drowning Prevention Week and targeting those most at risk. 

With files from Island Morning

now