Underwater Recovery Team for B.C RCMP reminding of water safety

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The B.C RCMP Underwater Recovery Team is reminding everyone to take necessary safety precautions to help reduce the number of tragedies that take place around the waters in the province.

According to the B.C RCMP, they’ve noticed a rise in the number of drownings during summer months. Whether it’s due to individuals not paying attention to their surroundings, not wearing life jackets or personal floatation devices (PFD), unsure of their swimming abilities, or just unaware of what the water conditions are.

The Underwater Recovery Team (URT) is no different, throughout the province the URT has noticed an increase of drownings in recent months and even complex recoveries from areas of the province that the URT doesn’t often see.

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Sergeant Steven Pebernat, the URT Diving Coordinator, thinks it’s because people have begun to travel further into the wilderness, given that common recreational areas have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Pebernat, the URT is seeing a lot of individuals who are not familiar with B.C’s waters and are getting themselves into situations that can’t always get out of because they’ve not taken safety precautions or know the water conditions and their abilities.

The URT recommends these helpful reminders to help everyone stay safe:

  • always swim with a buddy
  • play and swim in areas that are supervised by a lifeguard
  • don’t leave children unsupervised; drowning can happen in as little as 10 seconds
  • if you can’t swim, wear a life jacket or PFD at all times
  • stay alert and observe the conditions before you step out onto the shoreline and keep an eye on incoming waves

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