Lifeguard supervision begins this weekend across Nova Scotia

WATCH: With a heat wave expected to hit the province over the weekend, there’s a good chance many of us will be outside and likely near the water. As Natasha Pace reports, officials are reminding people to take precautions when doing recreational activities, like swimming, this holiday weekend.

Beginning Saturday, lifeguards will be stationed at some of the most popular beaches in Nova Scotia, just in time for the incoming heat wave.

“Saturday morning at 10 a.m. we’re operational, supervising 23 provincial beaches, right from down in Yarmouth right up to Ingonish,” said Paul D’Eon, director of Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service.

READ: Should kids wear life jackets or personal flotation devices? What one viral video is teaching parents

Lifeguards were involved in dozens of rescues across the province last year.

“We had over 100 rescues at our 23 beaches, and these range from very serious ones to very quick pullouts,”said D’Eon.

“We hope we have zero, but we’re there and ready to go.”

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People are urged to swim in supervised areas while enjoying the beach and stay between the red and yellow flags.

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“The lifeguard’s main role is to prevent incidents from happening. The oops factor, if something happened the lifeguards are there to help you out and to make rescues,” said D’Eon.

According to the 2017 Maritimes Drowning Report, the overall water-related fatality rate continues to decrease in the maritime provinces. However, there are still 25 to 35 drownings each year.

“We’re excited to mark the beginning of another summer of safety and fun on our provincial beaches,” said Natural Resources Minister Margaret Miller in a news release. “Please follow lifeguards’ instructions and make safety a priority when swimming and during other water sports.”

WATCH: Hot, humid Canada Day weekend forecast in the Maritimes prompts sun safety warnings

Extreme heat warning issued for Canada Day
Extreme heat warning issued for Canada Day

With the hot, humid weather fast approaching, beach-goers are encouraged to take precautions.

“Wear your personal flotation devices when in and around the water. It’s going to keep you afloat if you end up in the water, you have a life preserver, life jacket and it will save your life,” said D’Eon.

“Secondly, alcohol and water don’t mix. If you’re in or on the water. certainly don’t use alcohol. And lastly, keep your kids within arms reach.”

READ MORE: Summer safety: What you need to know about sunscreen and protecting your skin

Statistics show more than 80 per cent of drowning victims are men, leaving the Lifesaving Society to issue this reminder to maritime men.

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“They are the risk takers, they tend not to follow safety guidelines. They do things they’re not supposed to do, go places they shouldn’t go,” said D’Eon.

“We just send them a message once again to the men that are taking risks just to think before you do something stupid.”

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Here is a list of provincial beaches withlifeguards:

  • Clam Harbour, (weekends only), Dollar Lake, Lawrencetown,
  • Martinique, Queensland, Rainbow Haven beaches, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Heather Beach, Cumberland Co.
  • Mavillette Beach, Digby Co. (weekends only)
  • Port Maitland Beach, Lake Ellenwood Beach and Lake Milo Boat Club, Yarmouth Co.
  • Aylesford Lake Beach, Kings Co.
  • Bayswater and Rissers beaches, Lunenburg Co.
  • Melmerby Beach, Pictou Co.
  • Bayfield and Pomquet beaches, Antigonish Co.
  • Dominion and Mira Gut beaches, Cape Breton Regional Municipality
  • Point Michaud, Richmond Co.
  • Inverness and Port Hood beaches, Inverness Co.
  • Ingonish Beach, Victoria Co.