"400+ Drowning Deaths a Year still too many" reports Lifesaving Society on launch of National Drowning Prevention Week

    OTTAWA, July 21 /CNW Telbec/ - With more than 400 fatalities annually,
drowning remains the third leading cause of unintentional death among
Canadians under 60 years of age reports the Lifesaving Society, Canada's
lifeguarding experts. In fact, more than 60% of all drowning deaths in Canada
occur during participation in summer-time recreational activities including
swimming and fishing or boating, with approximately two-thirds of drownings
occurring just 15 meters from safety.
    "It is a tragic statistic," states Nicole Liddell, the Lifesaving
Society's National President-Elect, "but every year, hundreds of Canadians die
as the result of drowning; and the truth is, many of these tragedies might
have been prevented if people took the time to wear a personal flotation
device (PDF) and learned a few basic skills."
    This past May, a 29 year old woman was camping with a friend on Black
Island (situated in the middle of McGregor Lake) in Val-des-Monts. The two
campers were canoeing towards the island at night when their canoe capsized.
Both ended up in the water and only the man was able to swim to shore and call
for help. The body of the woman has yet to be located. According to
authorities neither boater was wearing lifejackets at the time of the
    "Swimming is the second most popular year-round recreational activity,
and with the sheer number of recreational water ways, beaches and pools
available to us, Canadians inherently face an increased risk of drowning,"
adds Liddell.
    The Lifesaving Society's National Drowning Prevention Week is timed to
coincide with the warmest summer weather when many Canadian's are seeking ways
to cool off and beat summer's heat (July 19 - 27, 2008).
    This year, the Society's messages are aimed at addressing two populations
at risk:

    - Parents of young children
    - Boaters

    National Drowning Prevention Week is an annual, public education and
drowning prevention initiative of the Lifesaving Society with the goal of
reducing the number of water related fatalities and near drowning incidents
through the promotion of key water safe messages, including:

    Monday July 21, 2008      "400+ Drowning Deaths a Year Still Too Many"

    Tuesday July 22, 2008     "Children Among Those at Greatest Risk of

    Wednesday July 23, 2008   "Alcohol and Water a Potentially Deadly

    Thursday July 24, 2008    "Lifesaving Society Celebrates 100 Years of
                              Saving Lives"

    Friday July 25, 2008      "Canada Post Releases Stamp Honoring Lifesaving

    For additional information on the Lifesaving Society and/or National
Drowning Prevention Week (July 19 - 27, 2008) please visit the Society's web
site at: www.lifesaving.ca

    About the Lifesaving Society:

    The Lifesaving Society, Canada's lifeguarding experts for the past
100 years, is a national, volunteer organization and registered charity whose
mandate is drowning prevention. The Society's programs include: Learn to Swim,
Lifesaving, Lifesaving Sport, Water Smart(R), Public Education, Research,
First Aid and Boating. The Lifesaving Society remains the leader in lifeguard
training, and in 2008 will provide training and certification to over 500,000

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact: Mr.
Simon Rolfe, Manager of In-house Marketing Projects, Lifesaving Society
National Office, (613) 746-5694 ext 27, srolfe@lifesaving.ca; or visit
www.lifesaving.ca; In Quebec, for additional information or to arrange an
interview, please contact: Mr. Raynald Hawkins, Executive Director, Lifesaving
Society Quebec Branch, (514) 252-3100 ext 3101, rhawkins@sauvetage.qc.ca; or
visit www.sauvetage.qc.ca

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