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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Winnipeg sign lit at Forks to mark drowning rescue week

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The Winnipeg sign in The Forks was lit at Lifesaving Society Manitoba Blue to begin National Doing Prevention Week, which began on Sunday and runs through Saturday.

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Members of the Lifesaving Society Manitoba gathered at the Winnipeg landmark on Sunday along with groups involved in aquatics in Manitoba such as the Swim School and Swim Club to mark the occasion. The sign will be lit blue for 24 hours from Sunday evening.

“This is such an important week because more than 400 Canadians die from drowning each year,” said Stacy Grocholsky, executive director of Lifesaving Society Manitoba. “Usually this week – the third week in July – has the highest rate of drowning.”

Also, the logo of the Lifesaving Society will be placed on the dome of the Manitoba Legislature on Monday evening. With an S and 2 dots, the logo above the waterline represents someone who reaches below the waterline and rescues someone below it.

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Lifesaving Society Manitoba Executive Director Stacy Grocholsky (Left) Talks With Ready Jcc'S Aquatics Manager Alexandra Carrire On Sunday.  Members Of The Lifesaving Society Manitoba Gather With Groups Involved In Aquatics In Manitoba, Such As The Swim School And Swim Club, At The Winnipeg Sign In The Forks On Sunday, July 17, 2022, To Kick Off The National Drawing Of The Lifesaving Society Manitoba Will Be Lit In Blue.  Prevention Week Which Started On Sunday And Runs Till Saturday 23 July.
Lifesaving Society Manitoba Executive Director Stacy Grocholsky (left) talks with Ready JCC’s Aquatics Manager Alexandra Carrire on Sunday. Members of the Lifesaving Society Manitoba gather with groups involved in aquatics in Manitoba, such as the Swim School and Swim Club, at The Winnipeg Sign in the Forks on Sunday, July 17, 2022, to kick off the National Drawing of the Lifesaving Society Manitoba Will be lit in blue. Prevention week which started on Sunday and runs till Saturday 23 July. Photo by Glenn Dawkins ,Winnipeg Sun

Despite a declining trend, drowning remains the third leading cause of death among adults and children in Canada and the second leading cause of unintentional death for children. In particular, Indigenous, Northern and New Canadians have disproportionately high mortality rates, according to the Lifesaving Society of Manitoba.

In fact, drowning rates around the world are so high that the United Nations General Assembly passed a United Nations resolution on the prevention of drowning and designated July 25 as World Prevention of Drowning Day.

“We always say that if you’re boating, make sure you’re wearing a life jacket because if it’s under the boat it’s not going to do you any good if you (board)” Grocholsky said. “That’s how a lot of unintentional drownings happen.”

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Statistics show that about 70% of drowning deaths did not intend to go into the water and often occurred within 15 meters of safety.

Among the participants on Sunday were Radi JCC’s aquatics manager Alexandra Carrire and her seven-year-old dog, Hudson, who was decked out in her bright yellow high-visibility dog ​​life vest.

Wearing His Bright Yellow High-Visibility Dog ​​Life Vest, Seven-Year-Old Hudson Participates As Members Of The Lifesaving Society Manitoba, Gathering With Groups Involved In Aquatics In Manitoba, Such As Sunday, July 17, Swim School And Swimming Club In 2022.  The Winnipeg Sign On The Forks, Which Will Be Lit At Lifesaving Society Manitoba Blue To Mark The Start Of National Drowning Rescue Week, Which Begins Sunday And Runs Through Saturday, July 23.
Wearing his bright yellow high-visibility dog ​​life vest, seven-year-old Hudson participates as members of the Lifesaving Society Manitoba, gathering with groups involved in aquatics in Manitoba, such as Sunday, July 17, Swim School and Swimming Club in 2022. Winnipeg sign on The Forks, which will be lit at Lifesaving Society Manitoba Blue to mark the start of National Drowning Week, which begins Sunday and runs through Saturday, July 23. Photo by Glenn Dawkins ,Winnipeg Sun

“Having a dog in a life jacket may be a little tongue in cheek, but it helps people remember the message that it’s really important to wear a PFD (personal flotation device) or life jacket,” Carrier said.

“It is really important that you have your dog with you if you are going boating for a PFD life jacket. They will get that extra protection in case they fall off the boat and have to swim long distances. High Visibility helps you identify them better.”

While people assume that their family pets automatically know how to swim, this is not always the case, Carrier said. Also, bosses have been known to jump in to save Fido in order to get themselves into trouble.

“If you see your dog fall into the water, you may not be inclined to jump right after him because you know you have that extra layer of protection and this gives you some time to stop and think and evaluate How to best help your dog out of that situation,” said Carrier.

gdawkins@postmedia.com

Twitter: @SunGlenDawkins

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