Girl swimming in a pool with a front crawl stroke

Free Swim to Survive event teaches life-saving water skills to children

Whether you’re treading in the shallows or take an unexpected fall into deep water, staying calm, and relying on simple water safety knowledge is the best way to get yourself out of a situation before it becomes critical.

Peter Fox, manager of Recreation Services

July 22 2021 –

In honour of the first ever UN World Drowning Prevention Day, and this year’s National Drowning Prevention Week, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, BC Lifesaving Society, and the Vancouver Lifeguard Association are partnering to host Swim to Survive: a free, one day course that teaches essential water awareness and life-saving skills to children.

Swim to Survive will be held on Sunday, July 25 from 8:30am to 11am at New Brighton Pool, and is open to children aged eight to 18 years old. 

The Canadian Swim to Survive standard is simple, focused, and defines the essential minimum skills required to survive an unexpected fall into water. Skills include:

  • Roll into deep water - orientate oneself at the surface after an unexpected entry
  • Tread water for one minute - support oneself at the surface to locate the nearest point of safety
  • Swim 50 metres - reach the closest point of safety by using any method of swimming

Pre-registration is required either online or in person at any Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation community centre or pool. Participants should arrive swim ready.

Learn more about Swim to Survive

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Peter Fox, manager of Recreation Services

“With persistent hot weather encouraging people to cool off in lakes, rivers, and waterways across the province, this year’s Swim to Survive course couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Peter Fox, Manager of Recreation Services. “Whether you’re treading in the shallows or take an unexpected fall into deep water, staying calm, and relying on simple water safety knowledge is the best way to get yourself out of a situation before it becomes critical. Swim to Survive is free, straightforward - and might just save a life."