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Free Swim to Survive day comes to Vancouver

July 8 2016

Kitsilano Pool will host Swim to Survive day on July 22

For the first time, the Vancouver Park Board is partnering with the Lifesaving Society and Lifeguard Outreach Societies to offer Swim to Survive, a drowning prevention program, to 600 Vancouver youth free-of-charge on Friday, July 22 at iconic Kitsilano Pool.

Sixty-five drowning deaths in BC last year

Swim to Survive is a Lifesaving Society program offered across Canada that provides basic training in three essential skills needed to survive an unexpected fall into deep water. Swim to Survive is not a replacement for swimming lessons, but an important key step to being safe around water.

It is estimated that half of Canadian children never take formal swimming lessons. If every child could pass the Swim to Survive standard, it would reduce the number of drownings by half. Last year in BC, there were 65 drowning deaths many of them youth and young adults. Drowning is second leading cause of preventable death in Canada. Swim to Survive teaches water smart behaviours in time for young people to make better choices around water.

Expanding aquatics a key priority

This all-day swimming safety program will be available at no cost to youth ages 7 to 18 with age appropriate sessions running in two-hour blocks, with start times at 9:00am, 11:30am, and 2:00pm at Kitsilano Pool.

“The expansion of aquatic facilities and services in Vancouver is a top priority for this Board,” says Park Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung. “Our support for Swim to Survive demonstrates our commitment to equip youth with the skills to safely enjoy our wonderful pools and beaches.”

Swim to Survive Vancouver is an extension of the Park Board’s commitment to aquatic education for our residents. For the past five years, the Board has partnered with approximately 60 Vancouver schools to offer the free program to grade three students and is actively working to expand the program to additional schools.

Register for Swim to Survive day

There is space for 600, so register now to reserve your child’s spot!

Register now External website

“This event will provide hundreds of children, youth, and adults with some basic awareness and lifesaving skills that will someday save a life, their own, or that of a loved one. The Lifesaving Society’s objective is to prevent drowning and Swim to Survive training will certainly help to decrease the number of water-related tragedies in BC,” says Dale Miller, Executive Director of the BC & Yukon branch, Lifesaving Society.

The Lifesaving Society External website provides programs, products, and services designed to prevent drowning, save lives, and prevent water-related injury through boating safety training programs and public education. Each year, more than one million Canadians participate in the Society’s programs.

For families living in rural areas, Lifeguard Outreach Society has a program where volunteers teach Swim to Survive across BC to youth who do not have easy access to swimming and first aid lessons. Find out which lessons are offered External website in your community.

The free program is offered as part of the Lifesaving Society’s National Drowning Prevention Week (July 17 -23) which is typically a peak period for drownings in Canada.