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Swim with a buddy, take lessons to stay water safe this summer

The city reminds residents that this week is Drowning Prevention Week
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Drowning is preventable. According to the Lifesaving Society, approximately 500 Canadians die in preventable water-related incidents each year. National Drowning Prevention Week takes place from July 21-27 and the City of Barrie reminds residents to always practise water safety.

Follow these tips from the Lifesaving Society to help keep you and your family safe around the water.

  • Watch me, not your phone. Always directly supervise children around the water - if you’re not within arms’ reach, you’ve gone too far.
  • Be boat smart - wear a lifejacket. Choose It. Use It. Always wear a lifejacket or PFD when in a boat.
  • Learn to swim to survive. In most drownings, the victim never intended to go in the water and was often close to safety – could you survive a sudden and unexpected fall into the water? Consider signing up for the City of Barrie’s Family Swim to Survive class, which covers how to roll into deep water, tread water for one minute and swim 50 metres.
  • Swim with a buddy. Make smart choices before going into or out on the water.
  • Know your limits. Alcohol consumption is a factor in almost 40 per cent of boating-related fatalities. Both alcohol and cannabis use impairs judgment, reflexes and balance. Stay sober when in, on or around the water.
  • Be water smart all year round. You can save a life, yours and someone else’s. Take a learn-to-swim, lifesaving or first aid class today. Visit to search and register for programs.

Once again this summer, the City of Barrie is partnering with the Canadian Red Cross for the PFD Loan Service, which aims to prevent drownings by increasing the availability of PFD’s and educating the public on how to fit and use them. Visitors can borrow certified PFD’s for free (a $10 refundable deposit is required) from the Lifeguard Office at Centennial Beach and Johnson’s Beach during times that lifeguards are on duty (11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, weather permitting).

The City is also partnering with the Lifesaving Society to promote backyard pool safety. When residents receive their valid City of Barrie pool fence permit, they will also receive the Lifesaving Society's On Guard card and a pool safety package.

The On Guard card reminds parents that someone must be watching children near water with focused attention at all times. If you wear the card you're on guard.