The number of drowning incidents have been on the rise this summer in Ontario. The latest victim was a Burlington man who died while swimming in Lake Erie.
The Niagara Regional Police, Niagara EMS and the Colborne Fire Department responded to the report of a possible drowning at the Sherkston Shores in Lake Erie around 5.45p.m. last evening. They were advised that a man had experienced difficulty while swimming possibly due to the waves and undertow. However, when the man was finally located around 7p.m. authorities were unable to resuscitate him.
“Investigators on the scene did state that the waves were somewhat high and the waves were somewhat choppy as well,” said Const. Nilan Davé, Public Affairs Officer with the Niagara Regional Police Service. “People had indicated there was a bit of an undertow and that may have played a factor in unfortunately the tragic circumstances.” In a separate incident on the same day, a 17-year-old girl was revived by two citizens at Lake Erie after being overcome by the waves. She is in stable condition.
With many residents opting to cool off near a water body, Const. Davé advises people to exercise caution whether they choose to by a lake or pool. And an important factor is definitely the weather conditions.
“It’s always a good idea to keep in mind if there are any adverse weather conditions,” says Const. Davé “Does the water look choppy? Does it look a little treacherous? Take all the necessary precautions and if at any time you feel uncomfortable or feel like you’re not well equipped to handle the waves and the conditions it is always a good idea to come back out to the shore. Don’t stay out there too long or get too tired and always feel like you are able to control your movements with ease.”
Another factor to keep in mind is experience as well. If you aren’t a strong swimmer don’t venture into the water alone. Const. Davé says most people are comfortable in waist-high water but it is the safest to stay as close to the shore as possible. If you’re at a swimming pool, he also suggests making sure that other people are around. And irrelevant of whether you can swim or not, a life jacket is always a good idea.
“Wearing a life jacket is not a problem for most people,” adds Const. Davé. “Basically it's safety precaution we can all take, whether we are swimmers or not, and I don’t think there is anything lost in the fun or enjoyment you may have. Just by simply wearing a life jacket, it may save a life.”