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Summer drowning incidents in B.C. up from 2019: Emergency Health Services

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There have been more summer drowning incidents this year than last, according to B.C.’s Emergency Health Services.

On Tuesday, Emergency Health Services released the latest statistics regarding the number of drowning and near-drowning incidents across the province.

It said the number of emergency calls for water incidents in 2020 is up from 2019, with paramedics attending 159 calls so far this summer — with two weeks still left in August.

For all of last summer, there were 138 incidents.

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It also noted that the Interior Health region has the highest number of summer incidents so far at 51. Vancouver Island was next at 37.

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For the year, Vancouver Island had the most incidents at 78. The Interior region was next at 69.

Emergency Health Services said that this past weekend, there were 11 calls across the province for drowning and near-drowning incidents. It said most summer weekends in B.C. average about four incidents.

B.C. EHS said paramedics typically respond to about 350 drowning incidents a year.

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Below are statistics from B.C. EHS on water incidents that paramedics attend to:

2020 incidents

  • June: 42
  • July: 73
  • August (to date): 44

2019 incidents

  • June: 35
  • July: 55
  • August: 48

By region, July 2020:

  • Vancouver Island: 19
  • Vancouver Coastal: 18
  • Fraser Health: 9
  • Interior Health: 21
  • Northern Health: 6

By region, June-July-August 2020:

  • Vancouver Island: 37
  • Vancouver Coastal: 35
  • Fraser Health: 26
  • Interior Health: 51
  • Northern Health: 10

By region, January to August 2020:

  • Vancouver Island: 78
  • Vancouver Coastal: 59
  • Fraser Health: 45
  • Interior Health: 69
  • Northern Health: 15
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Vancouver Island numbers for 2020

  • January: 10
  • February: 5
  • March: 3
  • April: 12
  • May: 11
  • June: 9
  • July: 19
  • August (to date):  9
  • Total this year to date: 78

Vancouver Coastal numbers for 2020

  • January: 4
  • February: 4
  • March: 6
  • April: 2
  • May: 8
  • June: 7
  • July: 18
  • August (to date):  10
  • Total this year to date: 59

Fraser Health numbers for 2020

  • January: 3
  • February: 4
  • March: 4
  • April: 3
  • May: 5
  • June: 7
  • July: 9
  • August (to date):  10
  • Total this year to date: 45
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Interior Health numbers for 2020

  • January: 1
  • February: 3
  • March: 0
  • April: 6
  • May: 7
  • June: 16
  • July: 21
  • August (to date):  15
  • Total this year to date: 69

Northern Health numbers for 2020

  • January: 0
  • February: 0
  • March: 1
  • April: 1
  • May: 3
  • June: 3
  • July: 6
  • August (to date):  1
  • Total this year to date: 15
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