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Spread the word on water safety

Posted on August 12, 2014 by 40 Mile Commentator

This summer there have been a number of drowning deaths reported around the province. The majority of those deaths are men. The Lifesaving Society says that of the large number of drowning per year, 80% of those are males. And its not just young children that are the one’s falling as the victims here, it’s adults too. In the Alberta Media Reports, from 2011-2013, the majority of those who drowned were adult’s aged 18 to 34, 88% being males. Also within the Lifesaving Society report for Alberta trends from 2011 to 2013, teens and adults were tied for 34% in drowning due to not wearing a lifejacket. The reason for the majority of the general population in drowning being males is that young men like to take risks and in doing so cause danger to themselves.

74% of these deaths occurred in rivers and lakes. Not wearing a life jacket, jumping off cliffs, alcoholic substances while driving a boat or simply being careless can account for some of this risk-taking behaviour. The Calgary Fire Department put out a warning to residents saying that the Bow River remains dangerous after severe flooding the previous year. Many hazards can be present around the area that can cause great danger to those using the river. People can avoid drowning by keeping an eye on their children and looking for any warning signs that could be present near lakes or rivers.

To raise awareness a while back for the National Drowning Prevention Week in Alberta, the Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research along with the Lifesaving Society had a beach towel campaign. They handed out the towels to swimmers with the message, “before you think only other swimmers drown, have a word with yourself.” If more people get the word out to one another about safety in the water, the number of drowning that occurs each summer may go down dramatically. With a little common sense and spreading the word to loved ones, summer fun could potentially save more lives.

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