The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) has launched a new summer initiative called the Water Safety Ambassador program.

The goal of the Water Safety Ambassador program is to promote drowning prevention and water safety through fun physical distance games and activities. The goal is also to provide educational material such as water safety pamphlets with content from the Lifesaving Society, Red Cross, and National Drowning Prevention Coalition.

The new program has garnered the attention of the National Drowning Prevention Coalition. The Coalition has invited the RDCK and its Water Safety Ambassador staff to apply for the 2020 National Drowning Prevention Coalition (NDPC) drowning prevention award. RDCK staff have also been invited to present at the virtual 2020 National Drowning Prevention Symposium.

“The Water Safety Ambassadors engage with community members both in person while physically distancing and via social media platforms to create awareness and educate the public on drowning prevention and water safety,” said Lisa Dear, aquatic programmer at RDCK. “With the interest and attention this program is getting and recognition from the National Drowning Prevention Coalition, this program could be the catalyst to start programs like this across Canada.”

Precautions are needed to increase water safety and decrease the risk of drowning. There are 76 drowning deaths per year, on average, in British Columbia and drowning is a leading cause of death for children in the province. Water levels at beaches across the RDCK have also unseasonably high in 2020.

More information about the Water Safety Ambassador program is available here.

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