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    Matthew Lubitz cooks up some tasty hot dogs. The free BBQ was provided by CANEX. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Olivia Poole, 3, makes her way out of the bouncy castle. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Fire Prevention Officer Denise Townshend schools Emilee Keenan, 3 ½, on keeping safe in case of emergency. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    The beautiful Black Bear Beach was the host of PSP’s 2nd annual Water Safety Event on June 18.(Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    PSP staff members Erika Wallace, Marie Lemelin and Amélie Paiement were happy to teach young and old how to stay safe on the water. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)



Drowning prevention a focus at 2nd annual PSP Water Safety Event

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday August 9, 2018

Garrison Petawawa Personnel Support Programs (PSP) staff made sure that kids would be safe in the water this summer through its 2nd annual Water Safety Event.

“This week is drowning prevention week, so it is something very important for us with the type of community we have,” said Marie Lemelin, PSP Aquatic Deck Supervisor, pointing out that lakes and rivers surround Petawawa.

Hundreds came down to Black Bear Beach on July 18 to learn how to prevent drowning while enjoying the sunshine, sand and hot weather.

Free swimming classes were available, as was CPR training, bouncy castles, a colouring contest, and a barbecue compliments of CANEX. Local police and firefighters provided other safety tips. The event was open to both children and adults, with tips for parents to keep their little ones safe in the water.

“You always want to be in the water within arms reach at all times because something can happen really fast,” said Lemelin.

Drowning doesn’t look like in the movies,” she added. “It is usually silent, fast and quick. You don’t really see it coming. It can be deceiving.”

According to the Red Cross, an average of 518 Canadians die annually in water-related fatalities. Seventy-one per cent of the victims are considered non-swimmers and 90 per cent of all boating-related drowning could be eliminated with the use of a lifejacket.

Most of the drownings occurred in lakes at 41 per cent, but 23 per cent occurred in backyard pools.