The following comes from BC’s Public Safety and Solicitor General. It seems like every years there are incidences at the Sooke Potholes. Bottom line: Swim with a buddy, and don’t go into the water under the influence.
Some safety tips before your dip or trip on B.C. waters
As British Columbia’s extensive coastline and 19,500 square kilometres of freshwater once again draw locals and visitors to a myriad of aquatic activities, the Province reminds all to take care – especially when boating or swimming – during summer, when drowning-related deaths spike.
A recent BC Coroners Service report on accidental drowning deaths indicates that, over the past eight years, the rate of these deaths per capita in British Columbia has fallen 29%, mirroring a national trend. Still, many of the 605 fatalities analyzed were preventable, so the Province and the BC Coroners Service are encouraging awareness and vigilance.
The report shows most drowning-related fatalities in the province occur between May and August. The latter is the peak month, accounting for nearly one in five deaths. Boating remains the leading cause of drowning among recreational water users, accounting for 25 of 65 such deaths in 2015. In a small craft, wearing a properly fitted personal flotation device (PFD) at all times is the single most effective safety step to take.
Together, falls and swimming accounted for another 23 fatalities last year. Swimmers are strongly encouraged to swim with a buddy and stay out of the water if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Other notable conclusions in the report include:
- Three times as many deaths occurred on lakes, ponds, rivers and creeks as on the ocean.
- 20% of decedents in 2015 were not residents of British Columbia.
- Four of five decedents were male.
As of June 26, there have been 13 drowning deaths in British Columbia to date in 2016.
- Original media release
- BC Coroners Service – Accidental Drowning Deaths, 2008-2015
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