With the current warm weather, many people will be participating in water activities in order to cool off. However, accidents can happen in and around the water. Approximately 500 Canadians die by drowning every year. Drowning can even happen in as little as a few centimetres of water. To prevent these dangers, it is important to be familiar with the safety precautions provided by the Ottawa Drowning Prevention Coalition.  


Follow these water safety tips provided by ODPC:

  • Stay within arms reach of your child at all times in and around the water
  • Be a Water Watcher, and provide direct and distraction-free supervision of your children who are enjoying water-related activities
  • Always swim with a buddy, never alone
  • If you own a pool, educate yourself on your municipalities’ rules about fencing around backyard pools
  • Wear a lifejacket or PFD whenever you are in a boat, regardless of age or swimming ability
  • Make sure you have the mandatory safety equipment on board your vessel
  • Alcohol, drugs and water do not mix. Be sober when swimming or boating
  • Take swimming lessons and CPR/First Aid classes
  • Swim near a lifeguard. Visit a supervised swimming setting for a safer swim 


Transport Canada says the following equipment is required on motorized craft no larger than six metres in length:

  • An appropriately sized, Canadian-approved personal flotation device or lifejacket for each person on board
  • A buoyant heaving line (15 metres in length)
  • Manual propelling device or anchor with at least 15 metres of rope, cable, or chain
  • Bailer or hand pump
  • Sound-signalling device
  • Navigation lights if the craft is used between sunset and sunrise or during periods of reduced visibility
  • A class 5BC fire extinguisher for any craft equipped with an inboard motor, fixed fuel tank, and/or any fuel-burning cooking, eating or refrigeration units
  • A waterproof flashlight or three Canadian-approved flares


As beaches, pools and splash pads begin to reopen, be sure to be informed about any COVID-19 restrictions before visiting. In addition, in any bodies of water where lifeguards or aquatic staff are not yet on duty, swimming is not recommended. Please obey the signage at these areas and keep children closely supervised. 


Visit this link for more information on how to be safe in and around the water: https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/tp-tp14659-overloadingstability-3020.htm



Written by Makenna Moran

Marketing and Communications Student for the Town of Renfrew