The Grand Forks and District Aquatic Centre hosted a National Lifejacket Day Swim on May 19.
The event was open to all ages, and provided a number of games and activities such as a colouring contest, door prizes, and relay games. Families were encouraged to try on life jackets and learn about how to properly wear them.
Volunteers and lifeguards helped with the event activities.
The event was designed to raise awareness about lifejacket safety and provide education on that topic.
Head lifeguard Richard Friesen said that it’s important for children and teens to be educated on water safety. Friesen said that when teens know about how to be safe in the water, they can be advocates for safety out in the community.
Lifejacket and water safety is important for children and families to discuss from an early age.
“When we teach children to be safe around water, that trickles into their families as well, and our most vulnerable are our non-swimmers.” Friesen said.
Having a well-fitting life jacket is important, and Friesen cautions everyone to practice water smarts.
“If it doesn’t fit you well on land, it’s going to slip off of you in the water,” he said. “Choose a life jacket that fits you properly, and use it.”
The aquatic centre promotes water safety through school swim lessons, and information bulletins posted in the lobby. A life jacket loan program is also available, which helps provide everyone with a well-fitting life jacket.
“We live around too much water for us all not to be water wise.”