Play it safe at the beach

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There are few things as nice as getting out to the beach in summer and enjoying some sun, sand and waves, but as some recent events remind us, caution is needed even when having fun.


This past weekend lifeguards at Melmerby Beach had to rescue some swimmers who ran into trouble and last week a 69-year-old tourist from Washington was tragically killed off the North Shore of P.E.I. when she was swept out to sea. There are probably many other close calls that go unreported.

Statistics from the Drowning Prevention Research Centre show that in Canada an average of around 500 people drown each year. In 2012 alone there were 17 people who died in what were classified as preventable water-related deaths.

Thankfully our provincial beaches have lifeguards on duty to help in times of danger, but as lifeguards remind us, it’s important for people to do their part and play it safe. This means being aware of undertow and rip tides that can quickly sweep a swimmer into dangerous situations.

It’s important for swimmers to know their limits and learn what to do in an emergency.

The same goes for those who are out on boats. While rules about lifejackets and other safety devices might seem bothersome, there are good reasons why they were established and are enforced.

While the heat is part of what makes the beach enjoyable, it can also pose risks. It’s important that beachgoers remember to use sunscreen and drink lots of water while out. People with kids should particularly take care as children often need to be reminded to take a break from the fun to rehydrate.

Summer fun should be just that. We hope that people will heed the advice of the experts and do their part to stay safe for the rest of the summer.


Organizations: Drowning Prevention Research Centre

Geographic location: Washington, North Shore, P.E.I. Canada

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