The organization wants Canadians to be aware of the risk of being around water and know what steps that can be taken to stop a tragedy before it occurs.
The council is also stressing the importance of taking swimming lessons.
In 2013, the last year in which full data is available from the Chief Coroner’s and Medical Examiner’s offices, there were 456 unintentional water fatalities in Canada.
From 2009 to 2013, unintentional water fatalities account for a yearly average of 1.4 per 100,000 Canadians.
Here are some more important points from the CSC:
- According to the Lifesaving Society, the most represented fatalities continues to be people between the ages of 20 and 24 (9.6 per cent of the total in 2013), people over the age of 65 (19.3 per cent) and men (81.4 per cent average over the last five years).
- A disproportionate amount of fatalities occurs as a result of recreational activities, including more than a quarter occurring while boating. Many of the fatalities involved alcohol consumption. Drinking while boating is illegal and dangerous.
- 82 per cent of those involved in boating-related fatalities were not wearing personal flotation devices. If you’re planning on being near water, you should always wear a lifejacket.
- Only 25 per cent of unintentional fatalities were the result of aquatic activities where the victim intended on being in the water, highlighting the importance of knowing how to swim.
- In an emergency, it’s critical that you know how to get your head above the surface of the water and to keep it there. If you’re not fully confident in your swimming abilities, take lessons.