Drownings: prevention is essential to avoid a deadly summer

Drownings: prevention is key to avoid a deadly summer

A boy bathes.

A recent survey confirms the public's enthusiasm for aquatic activities this summer. As the long weekend approaches, the Quebec Lifesaving Society is sounding the alarm about the risk of drowning.

According to a survey conducted by Léger for Allstate Insurance, 57% of respondents intend to enjoy the water this summer. For almost a third of respondents (30%), the pandemic has not had a positive effect “on the time spent learning and perfecting water safety techniques”.

“People are coming out of two years of restrictions of all kinds and the temperatures are exceptional. Everyone lets loose and wants to go in the water or on the water!”, mentions Raynald Hawkins, General Manager of the Quebec Lifesaving Society, reached by telephone.

“You must not forget that during the health crisis, swimming lessons were rare. Children who have not learned to swim are more at risk,” he says.

According to the Lifesaving Society's 2020 drowning report, 67% of tragedies occurred in natural bodies of water. “Prevention is the key to bringing these numbers down. We must always and again educate the public about water safety, from an early age”, adds Raynald Hawkins, stressing that the next long weekend is a “critical moment”.

As for the owners who rent their cabin, they must provide a safe environment for vacationers. “My best advice is to check the terms of your contract with your insurance company before renting. Do you really know all the security rules?”, mentions the general manager.

More than half of the respondents (53%) indicated in the survey that they were only a little familiar with their insurance protection civil liability and 21% not at all.

To avoid aquatic accidents “never be alone”, insists Raynald Hawkins, adding that wearing a life jacket is essential “to protect yourself from a possible incident” both on a boat and on a pedalo.

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