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Water Safety Education

Drowning is preventable. The Lifesaving Society of BC & Yukon works to prevent drowning and water-related injury though public safety education and training programs.

With approximately 500 fatalities annually, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional death among Canadians under 60 years of age, the most common cause of accidental deaths among children 1-4 years and the second leading cause of preventable death for children under 10 years.

Taking a lifesaving course and learning water survival skills can help minimize risk by teaching swimmers how to be safe in water. Check out the following water safety tips to learn how to practice safe aquatic activities:

Water Smart Tips

Water safety—knowledge that could prove to be as basic to your survival as breathing…

  • Choose it and Use it! Always wear a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD)!
    Don’t just have it in the boat. Pick one and wear it.
  • Think about it. Boat sober and ride sober.
    Don’t drink and drive your boat or snowmobile.
  • Get carded. Get the Pleasure Craft Operator Card.
    The Lifesaving Society’s Boat Operator Accredited Training (BOAT)™ course is available at participating recreation departments and other aquatic facilities. Take the course to help you know the boating “rules of the road,” how to respond in a boating emergency and how to operate pleasure craft safely.
  • Know before you go.
    Check the weather forecast and complete a simple safety checklist.
  • Drive powerboats, personal water craft and snowmobiles responsibly.
    Look before you act, stay low, drive at moderate speeds, be aware of changing weather conditions, and drive with extreme caution and proper lights after dark.
  • Closely supervise young children near water.
    If you’re not “within arms’ reach” of them, you’ve gone too far.
  • Always swim with a buddy.
    And play and swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard.
  • Don’t drive your snowmobile on thin ice, and wear a thermal protection buoyant suit.
  • Protect your neck.
    Go feet first, first time. Never dive into shallow water.
  • Learn to swim and learn lifesaving skills.
    Go further…take a Lifesaving Society program: the Canadian Swim Patrol, Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross, National Lifeguard Service® (NLS) or other lifesaving program. Contact your local pool or aquatic facility for more information.
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