THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - There have been less drowning deaths in the Thompson-Okanagan this year compared to this time last year, and the reason could be as simple as education.
Dale Miller of the Life Saving Society of B.C. says making sure people know how to survive in water is key to reducing water-related deaths.
There have been 4 drowning deaths in the Thompson-Okanagan so far in 2016, compared to 6 deaths at this time last year.
This week is drowning prevention week, and Miller says it's a good opportunity to educate yourself, and those around you, on how to survive in water.
“That kind of knowledge, we hope, is permeating into people’s behaviours and changing our numbers over the years," Miller said.
There have also been no child drownings in the region this year, which could be related to less backyard pools than in other provinces.
“You often see higher incidents of child drownings in Quebec, mainly because they have a much higher per capita rate of backyard pools," Miller said.
But it all comes down to what the Life Saving Society of B.C. calls the "ABC's" of child water safety.
Barriers around backyard pools
Classes for swimming safety and water survival
Devices, like lifejackets
Miller stresses the importance of knowing what you're getting into before hitting the water.
"Know the weather and conditions before you go on the water," Miller warns.
This comes less than a day after 13 people had to be rescued on Kamloops Lake after their boat capsized. There was a severe weather warning issued for the area yesterday, July 14.
It's not known at this time if the 5 adults and 8 children were wearing lifejackets.
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