Number of Drownings Up

 The news has been saturated lately with stories about the victims of drowning. There has been 205 people who have died so far this year in Canada. My province of British Columbia has seen an increase, with four people last week alone losing their life in our waters. As some of my readers know I am a survivor but not without a loss that profoundly impacted my family. I posted that experience May 20th, 2010 for National Life Jacket Day.

I understand perfectly the trauma and fear associated with such an experience, how it feels and how much the body and mind remembers. I have a range of emotions with every passing story:

Hurt and Sadness as I know how far reaching the grief extends, as families and friends grapple with the loss for days, months and years to come.

Anger that despite measures put in place for protecting ones self and others we are still not able to take it seriously enough to make the right decisions.

Frustration that no matter how prepared others may be we can not beat the fate that lies ahead.

Hopeful that one or more of these stories, including mine, my cause a person or family this year to be extra vigilant with their personal safety on or near water.

There is speculation that our recent hot weather may have increased the amount of people in the water and therefore more accidents occur. However, to this day I see people not wearing life jackets that partake in water sports and activities.

There is a proposal being talked about to have swimming lessons built into the school system so that children may have a better chance for survival. As a child who had those lessons and had to tread water for a long time before being rescued I can assure you it may help but it is not a cure. Knowing how to swim and being a man who grew up and worked along side water all his life, did not help my father.

In life I believe some things are meant to be, people come into this world and leave us. It is our time. I also believe that common sense and not tempting fate is important too. So, I again ask people to please look to what you can do to protect yourself and your family from this kind of tragic accident. Survivors, like myself, really don't want you to have to live with the memories and go through what we did.

Be safe! Be smart!

CBC News Story

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