Quebec seeing spike in drownings compared to rest of Canada: Lifesaving Society

Quebec is seeing a spike in the number of reported drownings this year, having already surpassed the totals in each of the past two years.

While numbers in the rest of the country are relatively stable, the Lifesaving Society’s Quebec branch says it’s seen a dramatic rise in fatalities in 2020.

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As of July 31, the province has already reported at least 60 drownings for the year compared to 42 at the same time last year.

This year’s total surpasses the 58 reported drownings for 2019 and 57 incidents in 2018 but is still below the province’s average of about 80 deaths yearly.

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Raynald Hawkins, general manager of the Lifesaving Society’s Quebec branch, says there are likely a few reasons for the spike, including COVID-19 travel restrictions keeping more people at home and a series of heatwaves pushing people towards the water.

Canada, which sees more than of 400 drownings per year on average, has reported about 154 as of late July, with Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia rounding out the top three, according to the latest preliminary figures from the Lifesaving Society’s national branch.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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