Water Safety is top of mind this week as we mark National Drowning Prevention Week.
“It only takes seconds to lose someone we love.”
Zach Haskett would be 19 years old now if he was still alive. July 17-23 is National Drowning Prevention Week. #HurWOPP reminds everyone to be vigilant and safe around the water. ^en @WB_Media #DrowningPrevention #DrowningIsPreventable #NDPW2022 pic.twitter.com/f5WKUeKfc5— OPP Central Region (@OPP_CR) July 17, 2022
Huronia West OPP Constable Elizabeth Newton says officers have already rescued dozens of people on Georgian Bay this year.
Of particular concern, she says, is the undertow at the mouth of the Nottawasaga River. Ten years ago, nine-year-old Zach Haskett drowned there, dragged down by the undertow, a current that can pull you under no matter how strong a swimmer you are.
“This is an exceptionally dangerous spot to enter the water because of undertows and boat traffic,” says Newton.
Weather changes that occur at the beach can also cause dangerous offshore winds that are often responsible for blowing inflatables out into treacherous water and are responsible for many police rescues.
OPP also remind everyone that water safety is their own personal responsibility with no lifeguards on beaches in and around Wasaga Beach.
- The Lifesaving Society has several words of advice when it comes to drowning prevention:
- Supervise children. ‘If you are not within arms’ reach, you have gone too far.’
- Always wear a life jacket when you are in a boat or participating in water activities.
- Learn to swim. Could you survive a sudden and unexpected fall into the water?
- Stay sober.
- Make smart choices before going in, on or around the water.
- You can save a life. Yours and someone else’s. Take a learn-to-swim, lifesaving, or first-aid class.
For more information, go to www.lifesavingsociety.com.
images: Ontario Provincial Police