Warm summer weather makes people across Manitoba think about staying cool. Year after year, they flock to swimming pools or natural bodies of water across the province to get wet and beat the heat. Unfortunately, that also means that every year we see a spike in drowning deaths.

The Lifesaving Society designates July 19-25, 2020 as National Drowning Prevention Week (NDPW) to focus community and media attention on the drowning problem and drowning prevention. 

NDPW provides a focus around which community Water Smart® educators can plan news releases, do television and radio interviews, run public demonstrations, deliver public training events, and otherwise promote drowning prevention messages and events. Many successful community events are launched with a Mayor’s Proclamation of Drowning Prevention Week. 

Water Smart Tips

Over 400 Canadians die in preventable water-related incidents annually. Even one drowning is one too many.

In Manitoba, on average, there are 22 fatal drownings every year.

If you’re not within arms’ reach, you’ve gone too far. Always supervise children.

Never leave children alone near water and always keep them in your sight. If children are at the water’s edge, a responsible guardian needs to be with them. If you turn your back to answer the phone or respond to a text message your child could be gone forever. Whether at the beach or in a pool or hot tub children can get into trouble very quickly and can slip under the water very quietly without shouting and waving. Lack of adult supervision is a major contributing factor to child drowning deaths in Manitoba. In 100% of such cases an adult supervisor was found to be either absent (not present at all) or distracted (present but not watching the child).

Boat sober. Alcohol consumption is a factor in 41% of boating-related fatalities.

In Manitoba, alcohol consumption is a factor in 41% of boating-related fatalities, higher than in other provinces. The consequences in Manitoba for impaired boating and impaired driving are identical. Leave the booze at home; it can lead to disastrous consequences on the water.

Choose it. Use it. Wear a lifejacket!

Not wearing a lifejacket or PFD was a factor in 61% of boating deaths in Manitoba. Lifejackets must fit properly and be in good working conditions. Buckles and zippers should be functioning and intact. Everyone should wear lifejackets while boating and anyone who cannot swim – especially young children – should wear a lifejacket while swimming. Lifejackets don’t work if you don’t wear them. Learn More about Lifejackets.