(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

Just Posted

Island Health’s new Wellness and Recovery Centre at 5878 York Rd. is now planned to be open in the fall. (File photo)
Wellness and Recovery Centre now to open in the fall

Three community dialogues scheduled for May

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

Before you take on a pet, make sure you want to have it for life. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Editorial: A pet is a lifetime commitment

Tons of people are getting pets during the pandemic, some for the first time

Over 60 Indigenous youth from Qualicum to Malahat are participating in the Step Up Work Placement Program. (Submitted photo)
New Mid-Island Indigenous youth work placement program seeks employer partners

So far, more than 60 youth from Qualicum Beach to the Malahat are participating in the program

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clot after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Canada’s demo Hornet soars over the Strait of Georgia near Comox. The F-18 demo team is returning to the Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Sgt. Robert Bottrill/DND
F-18 flight demo team returning to Vancouver Island for spring training

The team will be in the Comox Valley area from May 16 to 24

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

Saanich police and a coroner investigated a fatal crash in the 5200-block of West Saanich Road on Feb. 4, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Police determine speed, impairment not factors in fatal Greater Victoria crash

Driver who died veered across centre line into oncoming traffic for unknown reason, police say

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Bow-legged bear returns to Ladysmith, has an appointment with the vet

Brown Drive Park closed as conservation officers search for her after she returned from relocation

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Pixabay
Island Health: two doctors, new clinic space to avert Port McNeill health crisis

Island Health has leased space to use as an immediate clinic location to avert health crisis

Most Read