Men make up the majority of drownings in Alberta and the incidents often occur in natural waterways during the spring and summer months, according to a new report by a Canadian lifeguarding group.
The Lifesaving Society’s 2019 Alberta drowning report, released to Global News on Tuesday, found that men accounted for 71 per cent of water fatalities between 2012 and 2016. The statistics are the latest available, as the society must wait for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to release the data and then it has to be compiled.
The 2019 report is set to be released this week, as Alberta RCMP continue to investigate three possible drownings across the province that were reported during the Canada Day long weekend.
WATCH: In light of three recent incidents on Alberta waterways, Global’s Linda Olsen talks to Kelly Carter, executive director at Lifesaving Society Alberta and Northwest Territories, about the importance of safety and survival skills around water.
Search crews continue to look for 22-year-old Lual Ayach, who family have identified as the man who is believed to have drowned in the Highwood River, southeast of Calgary. RCMP are also looking for a 34-year-old man who was last seen in the Clearwater River near Rocky Mountain House.
An RCMP spokesperson confirmed to Global News that the person crews are looking for in a third search is a 26-year-old man from India, who was working in Lake Louise. He’s believed to have drowned in Lake Herbert, near the townsite, while paddle boarding.
Investigators say both men were not wearing life-jackets when they went into the water.
WATCH: Victim of suspected Alberta river drowning identified. Lisa MacGregor reports.
“Drownings can happen at any time, they’re not prejudiced in any way,” Kelly Carter, executive director of Lifesaving Society Alberta and Northwest Territories, said in an interview Tuesday.
The society’s report also states that 60 per cent of all drownings during the time period happened between May and September. More than 50 per cent occurred in a natural waterway, like a lake or river.
“Know before you go. Know what kind of risks might be present in the water whether it’s the temperature, the weather conditions or the bottom conditions that are in that area.”
The report also states that roughly 90 per cent of adults who drowned between 2012 and 2016 were not wearing a life-jacket at the time.