A couple of years ago we were celebrating my daughter’s birthday at White Pines beach in Port Moody. A young man went missing in the lake, people started yelling and eventually the man was found under an inflatable raft. He was dragged onto the beach and paramedics performed CPR. The man was then airlifted to hospital where he was later pronounced dead. We packed up my daughter’s birthday gifts and left the lake in shock. I will never forget the memory of black water gushing out of that young man’s mouth onto the sand and thinking that this could have been one of my kids.
Children and adults drown at our local beaches every single year. If you are supervising non-swimmers at the beach please keep your phone in your bag and only use it in an emergency. There is nothing more important for you to do at the beach than keeping an eye on your loved ones in the water.
Maybe you’ll be the rescuer on the beach one day. Make sure you are prepared by taking first aid and CPR training every three years as recommended by the Canadian Red Cross.
Swedish First Responders have found a unique way of getting this water safety message across to beachgoers. In a viral video by the Södra Älvsborg Rescue Service Association of Sweden, you can see two firefighters stealing cell phones on the beach! Whenever the two men spot people staring at their phones, they walk up to them and snatch the phone from the person’s hands.
Keep your phone in your bag, watch your loved ones at the beach and have a safe and happy summer.
Gill McCulloch, Safe + Sound First Aid Training Ltd.