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500 drownings each year

There are close to 500 preventable, unintentional, water-related fatalities occurring each year in Canada. This reinforces the need for continued drowning prevention efforts.

MALES ARE DROWNING

The majority (79%) of British Columbia drowning victims continue to be male. This is consistent with the national trend in which 8 out of 10 fatal drowning victims in Canada are male.

 

alcohol consumption & drowning

Alcohol is a common factor associated with drowning. On average, in one third of drowning deaths in Canada, the victim had consumed alcohol prior to the incident.

The effects of alcohol can impair judgement and reaction time, especially when combined with sun, waves, and wind out on the water. Open alcohol containers are only allowed on boats that are design to be ‘residences’, with sleeping facilities, a head (washroom facilities) and cooking facilities. And drinking is only allowed when that boat is at anchor, docked or hard aground; never while underway

 

DROWNINGS most common in wARMER MONTHS

The warmer months continue to account for the majority of drowning fatalities in British Columbia. In the 2010-2014 period, 60% of water related fatalities occurred in May through August. 

Once again, over half (57%) of all drowning deaths in happened on the weekend (Friday, Saturday or Sunday). Double the number of drowning deaths occurred on Saturday than any other day.

BOATING IS A MAJOR RISK FACTOR FOR DROWNING

By type of activity, boating continues to account for the greatest proportion of water-related fatalities. The most frequent types of boating incidents were falling or being thrown overboard and capsizing. 

Once again lifejacket use and alcohol consumption were factors in many of the boating fatalities. Only 13% of victims were wearing a lifejacket properly at the time of the incident and approximately 39% had consumed alcohol.

WHERE ARE THEY DROWNING?

35% of drownings occurred in lakes, 31% in rivers & streams, 16% in ocean water, 7% in bathtubs,  and 4% private pools. Drowning fatalities in lifeguard supervised settings continue to be rare

MOST DROWNING VICTIMS THINK IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO THEM

Most drowning victims never expected to be in the water and think it will never happen to them. Think about the worst-case scenario and prepare for it by having rescue equipment available and knowing what to do in case of an emergency.


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