Drowning Prevention Week 2019

Canada faces a major problem – and a preventable one: Almost 500 people die every year from drowning. Whereas approximately 1% of all water-related fatalities occur in a setting supervised by lifeguards (* 2019 Drowning Report – British Columbia; 2018 Canadian Drowning Report), our team at the UBC Aquatic Centre is nonetheless committed to drowning prevention. Building on the success of past years, staff at the UBC Aquatic Centre are again this year increasing our efforts to support the Lifesaving Society’s national Drowning Prevention Week (DPW) campaign, July 21-27, 2019.

In an effort to educate our community the UBC Aquatic Centre is hosting free drop-in programming during DPW and has initiated a modest promotional campaign to support our efforts. A key component to our efforts is Swim To Survive, the essential minimum skills required to survive an unexpected fall into deep water. Our hope is that you will consider bringing your family and/or neighbours to participate. Details of our plans for DPW can be found online here: recreation.ubc.ca/2019/06/13/drowning-prevention-week/

The Lifesaving Society is a national, charitable organization working to prevent drowning and reduce water-related injury through our training programs, Water Smart® public education, drowning research and aquatic safety standards. The Lifesaving Society certifies Canada’s National Lifeguards and we work very closely with the regional affiliate – Lifesaving Society BC/Yukon.

National Drowning Prevention Week is one of the Society’s leading public education initiatives, with events taking place across the country to focus media and community attention on the drowning problem and drowning prevention. During this week, the Society urges individuals to:

  • Supervise children in and around the water.
  • Refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages while participating in aquatic activities.
  • Wear a personal flotation device (PFD) or lifejacket when boating.

If every Canadian followed these steps, we could greatly reduce Canada’s drowning rate.

On behalf of our team at the UBC Aquatic Centre, and our colleagues at the Lifesaving Society BC/Yukon, I invite you to do what you can to be safe in the water this summer.


Stéphane Delisle, Senior Manager, Programs & Operations  |  UBC Aquatic Centre