Summer water safety tips

Every summer season, thousands of British Columbians and visitors take to the water so now might be a good time to go over some summer water safety tips to ensure everyone enjoys the many activities that our lakes, rivers and seashore afford.

There is just nothing like getting wet in the summer heat! But there can be an unhappy downside to having fun on the water. The BC Coroner’s Service is cautioning those who participate in water-related activities to be careful. In 2015, 66 people lost their lives as a result of activities in and around water, the most common cause being drowning and most of those occurring in July and August. Most occurred during activities such as swimming, power boating, diving and white-water rafting.


Water slide

The Canadian Red Cross offers water-lovers some summer water safety tips that, if observed, can and will help to prevent water-related injuries and deaths:

  • When boating, ensure everyone in the boat has a properly-fitted life-jacket on and fastened.
  • Do not consume alcohol before or during swimming or boating activities.
  • Be cautious about swimming in currents and know what to do if you get into trouble.
  • Get trained through swimming and water safety lessons.
  • Get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card if you operate a boat (it’s the law!).
  • Know how to respond in an emergency by taking first-aid lessons.
  • Ensure children are supervised when near water, whether at home or on vacation. Adult supervision is the best protection for children –- even for those who can swim.
  • Ensure that your backyard pool is fully fenced with a self-closing, self-latching gate.
  • When not using your home pool, clear all toys out of the water and away from the edge, as these can often tempt children to the water’s edge.
  • Ensure you have emergency equipment, including a first aid kit and a phone, in the immediate pool area.

Just these few extra precautions can ensure that you and your family have a safe and happy British Columbia summer!

You can find more helpful information about water safety by visiting the Red Cross website at

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