(pxhere.com)

(pxhere.com)

B.C. paramedics urge caution as summer drowning incidents on the rise in 2020

On average, 67 per cent of B.C.’s water-related deaths occur during June, July and August

B.C. paramedics are reminding people to be careful in or around the water this summer as they respond to a higher than normal number of drownings or near drownings.

According to B.C. Emergency Health Services, paramedics have responded to 149 water incidents so far this summer, with two more weeks left in August. The figures, provided as of the Aug.15-16 weekend, are already above the 138 water-related calls paramedics attended over the three summer months in 2019. On average, 67 per cent of B.C.’s water-related deaths occur during June, July and August.

This past weekend followed that trend, B.C. EHS said, with 11 calls for drowning or near drowning incidents compared to the summer average of four. The agency’s warning also follows several recent fatal incidents, including a 20-year-old man from China on Harrison Lake on Sunday (Aug. 16), a 22-year-old student from India who drowned in Cultus Lake on July 25 and a Surrey realtor who drowned trying to save his daughter in the Okanagan on Father’s Day.

READ MORE: Surrey realtor drowns in Okanagan trying to save daughter

READ MORE: Student from India drowns at Cultus Lake

READ MORE: Harrison Lake drowning victim identified as 20-year-old man from China

So far this summer, paramedics responded to 42 calls in June, 73 calls in July and 44 calls in the first two weeks of August. Last year, they responded to 35 calls in June, 55 in July and 48 in all of August.

Broken up by health authority, there have been 21 calls for drowning incidents in Interior Health, 19 in Island Health, 18 in Vancouver Coastal, nine in Fraser Health and six in Northern Health.

To prevent drowning deaths, B.C. EHS recommends:

  • Building a fence with a self-closing gate to surround all pools
  • Supervise children around water at all times, even if it is just an inflatable pool or even a bucket
  • Enrol yourself and your child in swimming lessons
  • Make sure everyone is wearing a PFD or lifejacket on a boat, and on the beach or dock for weak swimmers
  • Learn CPR and other lifesaving techniques
  • Do not consume alcohol before or during swimming or boating

@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Water

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two of the heritage buildings from McLean Mill National Historic Site that have been restored at the Port Alberni tourist attraction. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
McLean Mill application breaks new ground for ALC

Process just another ‘misstep’ by city, says critic

Coulson Aviation’s newest Chinook helicopter, N43CU, takes to the air above the Alberni Valley Regional Airport following a complete airframe conversion into a helitanker, April 8, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY BILL MCLEOD)
Coulson Aviation’s newest helitanker takes flight

Converted Chinook helitanker off to U.S. for new paint job

Dave Cusson, Community Policing Manager with the City of Port Alberni, offers some tips for pedestrian safety in a Community Policing video. (SCREENSHOT)
City of Port Alberni on way to dubious pedestrian safety record

Pedestrian crashes a growing concern in Port Alberni

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

The PAGo Grannies have a table set up at a farmer’s market to sell handcrafted items to raise funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
PAGo Grannies promote nationwide concert for Stephen Lewis Foundation

Register online to watch Together in Concert starting April 15

Homicide investigators who asked not to be identified put up signs Wednesday, April 14, along the Nanaimo Parkway in the area where a body was found March 31. RCMP are asking for witnesses or dash cam footage as the suspicious death has now been ruled a homicide. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Suspicious death along the highway in Nanaimo now being investigated as a murder

RCMP identify victim as Randell Charles Thomas, repeat call for any information related to the case

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
WATCH: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among the encouraged ventilation measures

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

MP Todd Doherty took to Facebook after his family recently received threats. (Todd Doherty, MP Facebook photo)
‘I don’t run and I don’t hide’: Cariboo MP says RCMP probing threats made against family

Todd Doherty has also notified House of Commons Protective Services

Two men walk past a sign on Main Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calls for government transparency in COVID data continue as B.C.’s 3rd wave wears on

Social media, where both information and misinformation can spread like wildfire, has not helped

The music video for “Green and Blue” featured a Willington Care Centre in Burnaby as well as some of the volunteers and employees. (Screenshot/Todd Richard)
‘Green and Blue’: B.C. country musician releases tribute song for front-line workers

Richard’s new single has been viewed more than 3,000 times on his YouTube channel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read