(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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The River Forecast Centre is maintaining a flood watch for the area, including the Bella Coola River and tributaries, Kingcome River, Owikeeno-Rivers Inlet, and surrounding areas.
Wuikinuxv under evacuation order, more rain in forecast

Bella Coola’s Hill has re-opened but road conditions are muddy and wet

One person was killed in a two-vehicle crash south of Williams Lake on Highway 97 Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. (Photo submitted)
Highway 97 crash south of Williams Lake claims one life

Road conditions at the time were slippery and covered with slush: RCMP

Highway 20 is closed from the top Avalanche gate to the bottom Avalanche gate as of 19:30 on Tuesday October 27, 2020 (WL Tribune photo)
Rockslide closes the Hill as rain pours down in Bella Coola

Bad weather has resulted in rockfall on the Hill on Highway 20

The River Forecast Centre is issuing a Flood Watch for the Central Coast including Bella Coola River (file photo)
Flood watch issued for Bella Coola River

The River Forecast Centre is issuing a Flood Watch for the Bella Coola River

Two of the three grizzly cubs that were relocated to Smithers after their mother was killed (Caitlin Thompson photo)
Bella Coola residents urged to secure attractants after two sow grizzlies killed

One sow was a mother to three cubs of the year, which have been transported to Smithers

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Most Read