REC REPORT: Take swimming lessons at the pool

Grand Forks Recreation and Aquatic Centre is offering Canadian Red Cross swimming lessons.

As the weather gets warmer and summer approaches, we tend to gravitate to the water.

In the Boundary area, we are blessed to have rivers and lakes to play in. There are a variety of activities we enjoy, from fishing and tubing down the rivers to swimming and boating in the lakes.

June 2 to 9 is National Water Safety Week. The Canadian Red Cross, along with Grand Forks Recreation (GFREC), would like to take this opportunity to remind the young, and young at heart, that water fun can turn ugly if proper precautions and measures are not considered.

Every year, approximately 400 Canadians die of drowning – of the 160 people that drown while boating, nearly 90 per cent are not wearing a life-jacket. British Columbians are most relaxed about life-jacket use. About six in 10 boaters wear life-jackets most the time when boating.

Why don’t we wear our life-jackets? According to a 2012 Ipsos Reid poll, 24 per-cent of us say we know how to swim, 20 per cent don’t wear life-jackets because they are uncomfortable to wear, 14 per cent always keep them in the boat, but don’t feel they have any reason to wear a life-jacket because of the size of their boat. Some of us don’t want to wear a life-jacket while boating because it blocks our tan.

Young children, ages one to four years, and men aged 15 to 44 are at the greatest risk of drowning and in fact, drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional death for Canadian children ages one to four. A small child can disappear in seconds and drown in as little as a few centimetres of water.

The Grand Forks Aquatic Centre provides Canadian Red Cross swim lessons designed for all ages, from parents and their babies to adult learn-to-swim programs.

Red Cross Swim not only teaches swimming strokes but also includes emergency preparedness and safety skills.

Grand Forks Recreation Red Cross summer lesson sets begin July 9, 16, 23, 30 and Aug. 13. All levels run Monday to Friday and take place in the morning between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Christina Lake Recreation is also holding Red Cross lessons at Christina Lake Public Beach beginning July 23 and 30. These classes run Monday to Friday and take place between noon and 3:30 p.m.

If you need information about boating or backyard pool safety regulations give GFREC a call. We will be happy to assist you.

Call Grand Forks Recreation at 250-442-2202 or email us at gfplay@rdkb.com. You can also visit our website at www.rdkb.com to view the June flyer.