Despite annual warnings from the BC Coroner’s Service reminding swimmers and boaters to take safety precautions on the water, dozens of British Columbians still accidentally drown every year.
Fifteen British Columbians have already accidentally drowned this year, and the BC Coroner’s Service is hoping the statistics don’t climb much higher.
Coroner Barb McLintock is urging swimming and boating enthusiasts to take extra precaution near the water.
“The interior is always the highest; I think because they do get these incredible heat waves and they have a lot of lakes and rivers that people go to. Young men are the risk takers. They are with everything else. Everything from cliff diving to motor vehicles crashes, young men tend to be a high-risk group.”
Mclintock also wants to remind people that alcohol and water sports just don’t mix.
“We actually found a study we quoted today in a peer reviewed journal called Injury Prevention, so if you have a blood alcohol level of 0.10, which is just over our 0.8 that you have for driving, your chances of drowning while you are out in your boat is ten times as high, which even I found as a pretty significant and remarkable statistic.”
Weekend forecasts are calling for record-shattering temperatures in the low thirties on the South Coast, and low forties in the Southern Interior, prompting Environment Canada to issue special weather statements.
McLintock says BC records 80 accidental drowning deaths every year, although last year was slightly lower, at 57.