City aquatics staff will be out at parks and beaches promoting water safety to this summer. The city also loans personal flotation devices to swimmers at Westwood Lake. (News Bulletin file photo)

City aquatics staff will be out at parks and beaches promoting water safety to this summer. The city also loans personal flotation devices to swimmers at Westwood Lake. (News Bulletin file photo)

Nanaimo creates water safety education team for city’s beaches

City aquatics staff will spread safety messaging, do demonstrations and loan out life-jackets

Nanaimo’s aquatics centres are still closed because of COVID-19 prevention, so city aquatics staff have moved outdoors to promote water safety.

Nanaimo’s parks and recreation department has launched a water safety education team, which will be out at parks and beaches educating residents about water safety throughout July and August.

Water safety education is normally shared during registered swim lessons, at life-guarded waterfronts and in recreation facilities. WSET is composed of redeployed aquatic staff who will focus on themes around drowning prevention, safety supervision, advanced life-saving courses and boating safety, while they provide demonstrations and creative activities to engage participants.

Most drownings in B.C., 64 per cent, occur during the months of May to September and people most at risk of drowning are children under five years old and boys and ment aged 18-49.

The team can also be booked for water safety presentations for youths at summer camp, children in daycare and other community groups by calling Ashley Rowe, aquatics coordinator, at 250-756-5243 or via e-mail at ashley.rowe@nanaimo.ca.

Having a PFD while in the water is one of the best ways to prevent drownings, the city says. Another water safety program is happening this summer at Westwood Lake, where residents will be able to borrow a personal flotation device while swimming in the lake and then return it after the swim. The PFD loan program is sponsored by the City of Nanaimo and Commercial Aquatic Supplies.

COLUMN: 5 tips to keep safe while on the water



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