The Lifesaving Society of Canada published its National Drowning Trends Report. This report profiles drownings and water-related fatalities in Canada for 1996 through 2000.
The Lifesaving Society is encouraged by the continuing long-term downward trend for drownings and that their drowning prevention initiatives are contributing to the decrease.
Despite the fact that drownings are decreasing, there is still much work to do since 472 people lost their lives in 2000 to drowning.
Highlights included in the report are:
Who is drowning?
Men make up 83% of Canadian drowning victims. This makes men almost five times more likely to drown than women.
Where were they?
Mostly on lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. There is a positive trend towards fewer backyard pool drownings.
What were they doing?
The majority of drownings occured during recreational activities. More drownings happened while swimming, sport fishing, and powerboating than during any other recreational activities. There has been a sharp increase in personal watercraft related fatalities at +53%.
What are the risk factors for drowning?
Primary risk factors continue to be alcohol consumption, not wearing Personal Floating Devices, unsupervised youngsters, rough and cold water and snowmobiling on ice after dark.
The Lifesaving Society, Canada’s Lifeguarding Experts, is a national charitable organisation working to prevent drowning and water-related injury through research, training and Water Smart public education programs, and competitive lifesaving.