Quebecers urged to stay vigilant around water this summer following rash of drownings in 2020

As the weather warms and Quebecers begin flocking to the water, the province's Lifesaving Society is hoping to avoid a repeat of last year's rash of drownings.

In 2020, there were nearly 100 drownings, compared to 59 the year before.

According to a Leger study, nearly a quarter of Quebecers plan to spend time at a chalet this summer.

Raynald Hawkins, executive director of the Lifesaving Society, said nearly half of those are planning to go to an area they've never visited before.

Of last year's 95 drownings, 80 occurred in natural bodies of water. Hawkins warned Quebecers who are planning to visit such places that they must be aware of currents while swimming, boating, paddleboarding or taking part in other water sports.

The pandemic has also seen a rise in demand for backyard pools. Hawkins reminded those with pools or who are planning on visiting one that children must always be supervised and given undivided attention.

“Never swim alone, never do your boarding alone,” he said. “Fifty per cent of last year's victims were alone. That means no one call help you, no one can contact 911.”