Drowning Prevention Week: July 21 – 27, 2019

July and August mean sunny skies, busy beaches and lots of people out on the water. While rivers, lakes, and oceans may provide a way to escape the heat this summer, July and August also see a spike in drowning rates.

It only takes seconds to drown and most incidents are silent and unexpected, a far cry from the splashing and dramatic screams of Baywatch. A submersion incident where water has entered the lungs can cause complications – and even death- up to 72 hours after a swimmer has struggled in the water. With almost 500 drownings occurring annually in Canada, and over 55 deaths in BC in 2018, do you know how to stay safe while you stay cool this summer?

National Drowning Prevention Week (DPW) – the third week of July – is an annual initiative of the Lifesaving Society aimed at reducing the number of water-related fatalities and drowning incidents by promoting water safety messages in the community.

The UBC Aquatic Centre will be hosting free drop-in programming all week to help keep yourself, your friends, and your family safe – RSVP on Facebook!


Free Drop-In Programming | July 21-27, 2019

Sunday, July 21: Introduction to NDPW – Drowning is Preventable

Drop-in for colouring in the lobby all day, and check out the information booth to learn more about Drowning Prevention Week (DPW).

Monday, July 22: Watch Me, Not Your Phone 

Drop-in for family oriented games in the lobby between 4:00-7:30pm, focusing on the importance of supervising children around bodies of water of all sizes. Parents accompanying their children 12 & under can swim for only $2.

Tuesday, July 23: Be Boat Smart – Wear a Lifejacket 

Stop by for our lifejacket clinic, and learn how to be boat smart between 4:00-7:30pm. There will be games for all ages, and an opportunity to meet Buckles, the Red Cross Water Safety Mascot.

Wednesday, July 24: Learn To Swim To Survive (S2S)

Join us for the first ever Swim to Survive Day! Free admission during select times for those who attempt the Swim to Survive standard.

Swim to Survive day times:
  • For free admission to the leisure and recreation pools drop-in during these times: 11:30am-1:00pm & 4:00pm-7:30pm
  • For free admission to the 50m competition pool drop-in during: 12:00-1:00pm
  • Plus, the Lifesaving Society Waterwise team will be on-site with games and prizes between 4:00-7:30pm.
 How Swim to Survive day works:
  1. Come to the front desk and let them know you are here to attempt the Swim to Survive standard. They will direct you to the change rooms, where you can get changed, and then head to the pool deck to sign in with the Swim to Survive instructor
  2. The S2S instructor will demonstrate the standard for you, at which time you will make your attempt (with or without a PFD)
  3. You can attempt as many times as you’d like! The instructor will be there to offer tips and suggestions
  4. Once you have completed your attempt, you will receive a certificate, your choice of prize, and a wristband to continue swimming!

Everyone who participates in Swim to Survive Day will also be entered into a draw for a Swim to Survive prize pack!

Thursday, July 25: Be Water Smart – Swim With a Buddy

Bring your buddy for a swim today for 2-for-1 admission (youth 13-18 only)! And be sure to join us in the lobby 4:00-7:30pm for fun games for all ages.

Friday, July 26: Know Your Limits

Join us for a free mocktail between 4:00-7:30pm! There will be games for young adults and parents that showcase the challenges of being impaired while boating.

Saturday, July 27: Be Water Smart All Year Round

Celebrate safety at our DPW Party between 12:00-3:00pm! We will have crafts, games, and a free hands-only CPR clinic for all ages. Adults and children who attempt the Swim to Survive standard (between 1:00-3:00pm) will get in for free!


Join us at the UBC Aquatic Centre for free drop-in programming from July 21-27. You’ll learn things like how to recognize a drowning swimmer, how to survive an unexpected fall into water, and how to save someone in need. Our lifeguards and instructors will demonstrate and teach you life-long skills so that you can stay safe while you explore the rivers, lakes, and ocean around campus this summer!