Two drowning deaths on the weekend brought the perils of summer activity on the water home to many Keremeos and Lower Similkameen residents.
The tragic drowning of Derek James Woodrow on Saturday afternoon was followed by the drowning of a 45 year old Olalla resident the same day.
The Lifesaving Society of Canada reports that drownings are more than double last year’s in B.C., from 20 to 43 this year.
Nationally, there are other troubling statistics:
– seniors’ drownings (50 – 64 years old) are up 12 per cent in the past five years.
-drownings amongst 18- 34 year olds are up 12 per cent in the last five years.
– risk taking 18 – 24 year old males have among the highest water related death rate of any age group in Canada.
– in the 18 – 34 year old category, nine out of 10 victims are male.
– males make up 83 per cent of all water related deaths.
Oddly enough, drowning deaths amongst 13 – 17 year olds are on the downswing, with child drownings (under five) down 13 per cent in the past five years, which is, if not good news, at least better news.
Are the number of risk takers in society increasing – or could it be that some of us are spending too much time in a virtual world, only to find ourselves unprepared when in the natural environment – or are certain demographics just not taking the risks around water seriously enough?
It appears that more youthful demographics are getting the message – hopefully it won’t take any more weekends like the one just experienced to drive the point home to everyone else.