Coroner Urges Safety Around Water
Prince George, B.C. – With the warm temperatures here, and folks looking for a way to cool off, B.C.’s Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe is urging all British Columbians to be extra careful around bodies of water.
The BC Coroners Service responded to six drowning incidents in the past week which involved people swimming, boating and falling from a height.
Preliminary stats for 2016 indicate there were 47 accidental drownings last year. While that number was down significantly from 2015 when 80 accidental drownings were recorded, one death is too many.
“I cannot stress too strongly the need for all recreational boaters – including paddlers – to wear a properly fitted personal floatation device (PFD), not just have one in the boat with them,” said chief coroner Lisa Lapointe.” Additionally, children, non-swimmers and weak swimmers should wear a PFD anytime they’re in or near the water. People don’t realize how quickly they can get into trouble – particularly when they’re in unfamiliar waters.”
If you are hosting someone from out of town, be sure to warn them of the potential hazards that may be lurking beneath the surface of lakes and rivers in B.C. Those dangers include; sudden drop-offs into deep water, unexpected underwater obstacles and unstable or slippery rock edges above cliffs and waterfalls. Waters in B.C. are also frequently much colder than in other countries or provinces.