Coroner recommends water-safety education for new Canadians, tourists after Saskatoon drowning

Published: March 22, 2013


Kits Beach

A photograph of Kits Beach in Vancouver. According to B.C. coroner Barb McLintock, statistics from 2006 to 2010 show that 14.6 per cent of B.C. drownings were of people who lived outside of the province — with the majority also happening during the summer. Les Bazso/PNG

Better water safety programs for new immigrants and tourists are needed across the country.

After 27-year-old new immigrant from Pakistan, Muhammad Naqash Ali, drowned in a Saskatoon pool in June 2012, a Saskatchewan coroner released a report Thursday asking for water safety programs for new Canadians.

“This tragic death highlights the need for water safety programs targeting new Canadians at the local, provincial and national level,” coroner Myrna Briggs wrote in her report.

According to British Columbia coroner Barb McLintock, “some of the issues would be the same” here.

“We’ve seen a similar problem with tourists,” she told Vancouver Desi. “There’s a problem of people who come here from elsewhere that are not accustomed to B.C. waters.”

According to McLintock, statistics were gathered from 2006 to 2010 showing that 14.6 per cent of B.C. drownings were of people who lived outside of the province — the majority also happened in the Interior and over the summer months.

According to executive director of the Lifesaving Society B.C. and Yukon branch, Dale Miller, new immigrants are four times less likely to be able to swim.

“Unfortunately it’s just not always part of their culture as it is here,” said Miller. “Over the last several years we have seen more new Canadians that are drowning.”

He referenced an incident last year when a North Vancouver foreign exchange student drowned, so the Lifesaving Society worked with some of the exchange schools.

“We had sent quite a bit of information to a lot of the exchange schools and a lot of them did follow up on it and did some orientation with their students,” he said.

The coroner’s office has spent its time working with municipalities and asking parks departments and authorities to put out more pictoral signs identifying dangers.

“We’ve worked on the need for better water safety signage and instruction for tourists from out of province and out of country, specifically those who don’t speak English well,” said McLintock.

Briggs’ report into the Saskatchewan death found Ali’s cause of death to be accidental drowning.

Ali was among a group of classmates who went to a Saskatoon pool for its free evening swimming. He had immigrated to Canada from Pakistan in May 2011 and was taking English classes. He was an “inexperienced swimmer,” the report said.

Around 9:15 p.m. on June 8, 2012, a lifeguard scanned the bottom of the pool and saw Ali lying on his back at the bottom.

There were five fully qualified lifeguards on duty at the time, the report said, and they were following protocol regarding their rotations and routine scans.

Briggs recommended the City of Saskatoon, the Lifesaving Society Saskatchewan Branch and Red Cross Saskatchewan (Saskatoon) “identify and develop partnerships and strategies that recognize the unique cultural variations in our communities in order to encourage and enhance access and participation in water safety and education programs.”

— with a file from Postmedia News

Tags: , , , ,



Pakistani girl gunned down by uncle over loud music

VANCOUVER DESI A 16-year-old girl from Pakistan is dead after she was gunned down by her uncle for refusing to turn down loud music, according…
Continue Reading »

desi hiker

This is the picture a South Asian hiker took of a 135-kg black bear. A few minutes later, it killed him

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS A New Jersey hiker killed by a bear in September took a series of photos of the animal with his cellphone before…
Continue Reading »

Badaun suicide

Indian investigators say two sisters found hanging from a tree were not murdered or gang raped

HINDUSTAN TIMES The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has concluded after a five-month probe that the two teenaged Badaun cousins had committed suicide, putting to…
Continue Reading »


domestic violence South Asian Surrey

Alex Sangha: Five step plan to curb domestic violence in the South Asian community

ALEX SANGHA SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI There have been a number of high profile murders in the South Asian community in Surrey over the years. …
Continue Reading »

Surrey crash-desi

Surrey crash victim’s son says deporting parolee would ‘send a message’

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — A Surrey man who killed an elderly man when he smashed his brother’s Corvette into a Surrey bus shelter…
Continue Reading »


Stereotyping is alive and well when it comes to Muslim and Sikh religious symbols in Canada

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI One-third of British Columbians believe radicalized people live among us, according to a poll commissioned by The Province. The survey of…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...


University confessions Facebook pages can show the hardships of college life in B.C. (w/video)

NICK EAGLAND VANCOUVER DESI “Today I decided that I would start studying for finals,” an anonymous student wrote to the UBC Confessions Facebook page on…
Continue Reading »


Dharm Makwana: Presumed guilty until you miss your flight

  DHARM MAKWANA VANCOUVER DESI By the end of the ordeal my wife was on the verge of tears. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection…
Continue Reading »

suffer in silence

Help for Victims of Sexual Abuse

NIRMALA RANIGA VANCOUVER DESI The reasons for not reporting incidents of sexual abuse or harassment are many and varied. Recently, we have addressed some of…
Continue Reading »


Pakistani cricketer labeled terrorist for carrying bat on public transport, deported from Belgium

VANCOUVER DESI A young Pakistani cricketer and his family have been forced out of Belgium after he was labeled a terrorist for carrying his cricket…
Continue Reading »

wild pets

Two “snake catchers” arrested in India for illegally keeping venomous pets

VANCOUVER DESI Two men in Southern India who are known as local “snake catchers” have been arrested and thrown in jail for illegally keeping venomous…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood Latest

Junior Lata-Bollywood-song-music

Video of 11-year-old girl singing Bollywood song ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’ goes viral

VANCOUVER DESI A video of a 11-year-old Indian girl singing Lata Mangeshkar’s Bollywood song Satyam Shivam Sundaram has gone viral on social media and drawn…
Continue Reading »

sex video-Pakistan-Bollywood

Bollywood actress Veena Malik and her husband sentenced to 26 years in jail for blasphemy

IANS Dubai – Controversial Bollywood actress Veena Malik has expressed “shock” at a Pakistan court sentencing her and her husband, among others, to 26 years…
Continue Reading »

Desi sex

Bollywood’s Emraan Hashmi says he never refused to work with Canadian pornstar Sunny Leone (w/gallery)

IANS Mumbai – Emraan Hashmi denies that he refused to work with adult film star Sunny Leone for a special song in “Ungli”. In fact,…
Continue Reading »