Lack of supervised swimming spaces prompts drowning concerns
A file photo of WFPS water training. (Source: CTV News/Dan Timmerman)
WINNIPEG -- The Lifesaving Society is expressing its concern that a lack of supervised swimming locations may lead to an uptick in drownings.
Due to public health restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, many supervised swimming sites are not currently open, which may cause people to venture out to unsupervised waters.
“I worry this year with the hot weather, the pent-up feelings with the pandemic and the limited places to swim where lifeguards are supervising, because the safest place to swim is where a lifeguard is,” said Barbara Byers, public education director for the Lifesaving Society.
Over the weekend, the body of nine-year-old Darius Bezecki was found in Winnipeg’s Red River. Bezecki had gone into the river on Friday with siblings and a friend.
In Ottawa, a 14-year-old boy remains missing and is presumed dead after he jumped into the Ottawa River off a bridge with a group of friends.
CTV Winnipeg also previously reported the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service responded to four simultaneous water rescue calls on Saturday night at a swimming pool, The Forks, a river bank and the Assiniboine River. One person was taken to hospital in critical condition in connection to the swimming pool incident.
According to the Lifesaving Society, at least 400 people drown in Canada every year.
- With files from CTV’s Mason DePatie.