A swimmer competes in butterfly at Centennial Pool at the Salmon Kings annual swim meet. Campbell River Mirror photo

A swimmer competes in butterfly at Centennial Pool at the Salmon Kings annual swim meet. Campbell River Mirror photo

National Drowning Prevention Week a chance to learn how to stay safe on the water

Centennial Pool lifeguards aiming to teach more than 200 people about “swimming to survive”

Lifeguards at Campbell River’s Centennial Pool are aiming to teach hundreds of people about “swimming to survive” during National Drowning Prevention Week, from July 18 to 24.

The annual awareness event held by the National Lifesaving Society highlights water safety approaches to prevent drowning incidents. Every year, more than 300 Canadians die in preventable, water-related incidents — that are most common for children under the age of five, and the second leading cause of death for children under 10.

“It’s a common misconception that drowning is a noticeable, loud, or visible event; but often, drowning is silent and fast,” says Dayna Stevenson, head lifeguard at Campbell River’s Centennial Pool. “It can take as little as 30 seconds for someone to drown.”

Activities at Campbell River’s Centennial Pool will be held throughout the week to help empower swimmers to keep themselves, their family and their friends safe. There are two ongoing contests throughout the week, including colouring contests and a daily water trivia challenge.

Swim to Survive Day, held on Friday, July 23, will include free admission all day at the pool and lifeguards teaching all swimmers three “swim to survive standards,” including roll into deep water, tread water for one minute and swim 50 metres.

There will also be an event at McIvor Lake on Thursday, July 22 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

“Drowning prevention and water safety education are extremely important for our island community,” adds Centennial Pool lifeguard Braden Majic. “It has been over a year since most people have accessed swimming lessons or even been to a pool. National Drowning Prevention Week aims to teach and refresh our water safety knowledge, so that everyone can be safe this summer.”

Tips on how to stay safe in, on and around the water will also be shared on Campbell River’s Recreation and Culture social media channels. For more information about outdoor pool activities, contact Dayna Stevenson at 250-895-0307.

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