According to BC’s Emergency Health Services, summer drowning incidents have increased this summer over last.
Statistics released on Tuesday, August 18 document drownings and near-drownings across the province. Emergency calls for water incidents have increased markedly from 2019, when there were 138 incidents all summer. So far this year, paramedics have attended 159 calls, with more than a month of summer remaining.
Interior Health region has had the highest number of summer incidents with 51 recorded so far. Vancouver Island was next with 37 so far.
These statistics were reversed for all-year drownings, with Vancouver Island Health region having 78 and the Interior following as a close second with 69.
On average, BC Emergency Health Services paramedics respond to about four drowning or near-drowning incidents each weekend over the summer. However, this past weekend there were eleven calls across the province.
BC EHS will typically respond to about 350 drowning incidents per year.
Morgan Hampton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Merritt Herald