Water Safety Week is underway

The Canadian Red Cross has launched its annual Water Safety Week campaign, which runs from June 5-12. It focuses on the importance of following basic safety protocols near all bodies of water.

With warm temperatures in the north, a lot of people are cooling off by making their way to the water. That's why the Red Cross says the week is a good reminder for people to always be aware of potentially dangerous situations.

“Make sure no one is entering the water by themselves, that there is always adult supervision,” said Shannon Scully-Pratt, First Aid program representative with the Canadian Red Cross.

"Take your kids around the pool and make sure they know where the deep end is and the shallow end and they know how to get out if they fall in."

Scully-Pratt said each year, roughly 500 Canadians die from water-related causes. She said the majority are drownings involving children under the age of five and males between the ages of 15 and 30.

“Children like to wander off when it’s not expected,” she said. “Then you have those 15-year-old teenagers who are feeling peer pressured that might be going cliff jumping or rock jumping. We see them taking extra risks and that’s not something we want to see because you don’t know what’s at the bottom of that river.”

The Greater Sudbury Police Service has been patrolling waterways and making sure people are staying safe while in their watercraft.

Officials said even though there have been no fatalities this year, there have been some close calls.

“We’ve had some incidents where both the operator and passenger have fallen out of the vessel and the vessel has run them over,” said Const. Kevin Tremblay.

"So, it’s very important to be familiar with the waterways, be competent in your operation. If you’re not sure, slow down and take things easy. Get to know your vessel before making any trips."

The Red Cross said it’s important to have safety devices nearby at all times.