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Safety tips for open bodies of water

Stay safe this spring and summer
PH-Safety may 21
Stock photo

Summer is right around the corner, and many people are already looking forward to taking full advantage of their pools and other water activities.  Swimming and water sports are a great way to relax and cool down with friends and family.  While water-based activities can mean fun for the whole family, being aware of the possible dangers of open bodies of water is extremely important to help keep everyone safe.

Open bodies of water are an important area of water safety that swimmers and boaters alike should be aware of.  One of the most important things to remember when dealing with an unfamiliar body of water is to never underestimate the power of a current.  Rivers, streams, and even lakes and beaches all have the possibility of having strong, and usually undetectable currents flowing in them.  These currents are more than capable of dragging out a swimmer or boater deep underwater.

That’s why we would like to share some great tips to help avoid these situations and to keep everyone safe this summer!

Life Jackets:

First and foremost, whenever you are swimming in an unfamiliar body of water it’s always highly recommended that you wear a life jacket. Whether you are a confident swimmer or just beginning, a lifejacket is the best way to stay safe.

Swimming Buddies:

Swimming with a friend isn’t just a lot of fun, it is also a great way to keep you and another safe while swimming.  Using a simple buddy system whenever swimming is an effective way to help keep both buddies safe. The pair of buddies should stay close together and keep an eye on one another to ensure nobody gets lost while in open bodies of water.

Watch the Weather:

Being aware of the forecasted weather before going for a swim is always important.  You should never swim during a storm of any type, even if you are only in a pool.  Even if the forecast does not call for a thunderstorm; fast winds, heavy rain, and even the temperature can vastly affect the water conditions and can make them more dangerous.  As well, always obey the public weather warnings present on beaches and other popular swimming locations.

When all of these tips are combined together, you can make swimming in open water as safe as possible.  We hope you keep these tips in mind this summer to make sure everyone stays safe while enjoying Canada’s beautiful nature!

For more information regarding how to make open bodies of water as safe as possible, please check out this Red Cross article.