Accounting for more than 500 fatalities each year, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death in Canada for people under the age of 10. To date in Saskatchewan, there have been approximately six drowning fatalities in 2012.
Drowning Prevention Week began July 21 and runs through July 28. It is organized by the Lifesaving Society to educate the public about the hazards on, in and near the water. During the week, aquatic and recreational facilities across the province have been hosting fun and educational activities and presentations to encourage water safety. "We want to spread the message of water safety to everyone this summer - whether or not they plan to be at the lake or pool. In fact, statistics show that the majority of people who drown have no intention of going into the water," said Shelby Rushton, Chief Executive Officer of the Lifesaving Society.
The summer months are typically the most dangerous for water-related incidents as people participate in swimming, fishing, and boating activities. However, the winter months can be just as deadly due to snowmobiling and ice-fishing activities. In Saskatchewan, adult males are at the greatest risk for drowning incidents, reports the Lifesaving Society. The Lifesaving Society encourages everyone to follow safety guidelines while in or around water this summer. Remember to wear a lifejacket, to swim with a friend, to supervise children, and to keep boating and drinking alcohol separate.