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

Published: March 22, 2013

LARISSA CAHUTE 
VANCOUVER DESI

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

lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute


Tags: , , , ,





Featured

Abbotsford

Jag Khosa: Families pay the ultimate price of gang wars

DET. JAG KHOSA SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Late into the night, the parents of a young man struggled to sleep. The mother kept tossing and…
Continue Reading »

linda-hepnerdesi

Linda Hepner leads in most recent Surrey civic election poll

Self-commissioned report by Surrey First shows there’s still strong favourability for outgoing mayor Dianne Watts CHRISTOPHER POON SURREY NOW SURREY — A new poll commissioned…
Continue Reading »

drunk girl

Good Samaritan gets ‘The Beast’ back after helping drunken girl

Drunken stranger crashed and dashed with his beloved jacket on Sunday, but Roy Abraham finds it hanging on his doorknob the next day after online…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

MPs vote to make Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai honorary citizen

THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA – The House of Commons has unanimously supported bestowing honorary Canadian citizenship upon Pakistani teenager and co-winner of this year’s Nobel…
Continue Reading »

Abbotsford

Jag Khosa: Families pay the ultimate price of gang wars

DET. JAG KHOSA SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Late into the night, the parents of a young man struggled to sleep. The mother kept tossing and…
Continue Reading »

linda-hepnerdesi

Linda Hepner leads in most recent Surrey civic election poll

Self-commissioned report by Surrey First shows there’s still strong favourability for outgoing mayor Dianne Watts CHRISTOPHER POON SURREY NOW SURREY — A new poll commissioned…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Aman Grewal

Gallery: Army officer’s wife wins Mrs. India Worldwide pageant

IANS New Delhi – Aman Grewal, wife of an army officer, was declared the winner of Haut.Monde Mrs.India Worldwide 2014 here. Grewal, who hails from…
Continue Reading »

varsha

Ontario teen fighting superbugs with an assist from Indian home cooking

TOM SPEARS OTTAWA CITIZEN Like a lot of great discoveries, Varsha Jayasankar’s foray into how to kill superbugs with an extract from Indian food started…
Continue Reading »

File photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Low caste teen in India burnt alive after goats stray into neighbours’ field

CEN AGENCY A poor goat herder was burnt to death after greedy land owners doused him in petrol and set him ablaze because his goats…
Continue Reading »

peter

23-year-old Indian soccer player dies after goal celebration goes horribly wrong

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI – The Mizoram Football Association says a 23-year-old Indian soccer player has died after injuring his spine while celebrating a…
Continue Reading »

karma

Good Karma: Free Downtown Eastside studio helping yoga return to its ‘roots’

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Entering through a desolate back alley off West Hastings Street in the Downtown Eastside, next to a gravel parking lot and…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood

Saif Ali Khan poses with pants down

IANS New Delhi – Actor-producer Saif Ali Khan was caught and clicked with his pants down while shooting for his new film “Happy Ending”. As…
Continue Reading »

Desi boobs Sonakshi SInha

Sonakshi Sinha enjoyed Tamil film debut with Lingaa

IANS Chennai  – Actress Sonakshi Sinha, who is making her Tamil debut opposite superstar Rajinikanth in upcoming Tamil actioner Lingaa, says she thoroughly enjoyed working…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Irrfan Khan to head Abu Dhabi film fest jury

IANS New Delhi  – Acclaimed actor Irrfan Khan will preside over the Narrative Feature Competition Jury at the forthcoming Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF). The…
Continue Reading »