Quick thinking RCMP officer saves woman’s life

VernonRCMP media release1

An off-duty officer from the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP sprang into action to save a woman from drowning at a popular beach in Lake Country.

On the afternoon of Friday, July 9th, 2021, Constable Kerri Parish was with her family at Pebble Beach when a commotion out in the water drew her attention to a woman who had fallen off a floatation device and appeared to be having difficulty staying afloat. Immediately, Kerri grabbed her paddleboard and raced out to the woman now fully submerged in the water. Kerri pulled the woman to the surface and swam her back to safety at the shore. The woman, somewhat disoriented, was otherwise well and she and her family were incredibly grateful for Kerri’s assistance.

I knew something was wrong and I had to act quickly, states Constable Parish. I feel blessed to have been in the right place and time, with the right equipment available that allowed me to help.

With July 18-24th being National Drowning Prevention Week, the incident serves as a good reminder that most drownings are preventable and there are things you can do to keep yourself safe around the water, including;

  • Swim with a buddy. Never swim alone and always swim with another responsible swimmer;
  • Supervise children closely. If they are more than arms reach, they are too far away;
  • Know the swimming area. Be aware of currents, sudden drop offs to deep water, undertows and other hidden dangers;
  • Don’t drink and play, do not mix alcohol or other drugs with water activities;
  • Non swimmers should wear a lifejacket. Keeping a lifejacket close by isn’t close enough. Wear it.

For more additional water safety information, visit the Lifesaving Society of BC.