The Lifesaving Society’s annual drowning prevention awareness campaign (National Drowning Prevention Week) begins Sunday, July 21, and runs until Saturday, July 27.
With almost 500 Canadians drowning in preventable water-related incidents annually, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional death among Canadians under 60+ years of age. Even one drowning is one too many, stated a release from the Lifesaving Society.The age groups with the highest risk of drowning are young adults 20-34 years of age, baby boomers 50-64 years of age, and seniors over 65. Children under the age of 5 are also at risk.
Over 80 per cent of drowning victims are male, especially those between 20-34 years of age.
National Drowning Prevention Week has also been proclaimed by Yorkton Council in June.
“Tragically, drowning is the number one cause of unintentional injury deaths among children 1 – 4 years of age, and the second leading cause of preventable death for children under 10 years,” explained Paul Keys, general manager of the Gallagher Centre speaking at the meeting where Council passed the proclamation.
Gene Makowsky, Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport has proclaimed July 21 – 27 as National Drowning Prevention Week in Saskatchewan. Many other communities across the province have also issued their own proclamations for the week including: Yorkton, Swift Current, Melfort, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon, Weyburn, and Warman.
The Society’s messaging focus for this year’s National Drowning Prevention Week includes: “Don’t be a Statistic”, “Watch me, not your phone”, “Be Boat Smart®”, “All children should learn to swim to survive®”, “Be Water Smart®, “Older but not always Wiser”, and “You can save a life – yours and someone else’s”.
“Being aware of the every present danger of water; knowing how to stay safe in, on, and around water; and knowing what to do in the case of a drowning emergency is important information for all residents and visitors to our province,” states Shelby Rushton, CEO for the Lifesaving Society – Saskatchewan Branch in a prepared release. “With five fatal drownings already in 2019 in Saskatchewan to date, the Lifesaving Society encourages everyone to get trained and save your life and possibly someone else’s, and not become the next drowning statistic in our province.”