Experts call for caution after 5 drownings since Friday in Quebec

Click to play video: 'Deadly start to Quebec construction holiday with five drownings since Friday' Deadly start to Quebec construction holiday with five drownings since Friday
WATCH: There's a call for caution in Quebec after five people drowned since the start of the construction holiday. Since the beginning of the year, 37 people have died in drowning accidents. And as Felicia Parrillo reports, with the warm weather forecasted for the following two weeks, experts are warning people to be vigilant around water. – Jul 25, 2022

The recent heat combined with the need to cool off made for a deadly weekend.

It started Friday at a water park in the Laurentians region, where a 14-year-old girl drowned after going down a slide that empties into a small lake.

On Saturday, the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) says three men died after drowning incidences in different bodies of water.

Read more: Girl, 14, drowns at water park in Quebec’s Laurentians region

A 43-year-old died in hospital after going under at the Sablon beach in Saint-Polycarpe, a 49-year-old went missing while swimming across a river in the Mauricie region, and a 28-year-old died after being rescued from a lake in the Laurentians.

And early Monday morning, Montreal police were involved in a dramatic rescue in Anjou, after they say two men in their 20s jumped the fence of a public pool to go swimming — and a 21-year-old died after drowning.

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Read more: 21-year-old man dead after drowning in Montreal pool at 3:30 a.m.

“Construction holiday, lack of accessibility to supervised to swimming areas like pools, beaches, stuff like that,” said Adam Di Fulvio, Montreal Institute of Swimming president and CEO. “Additionally, just with the pandemic these past couple years, not a lot of people have been getting practice in terms of their swimming.”

Quebec’s Lifesaving Society says since the beginning of this year, 37 people in the province have died in drownings.

It also says that over the past two years, it found that half of all drownings involved someone swimming alone.

“Never be alone to do your aquatics or boating activities,” said Raynald Hawkins of the Quebec Lifesaving Society. “Because no one can help you — no one can contact 911, no one can do the rescue.”

Hawkins says as construction holiday gets underway, it’s crucial that people follow basic water safety tips.

“Wear your life-jacket, supervise your kid all the time, control the accessibility to the backyard pool,” he said. “Never mix alcohol and bathing or boating activities and for sure, take a learn-to-swim program as soon as possible.”


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