New Canadians at greater risk of drowning -

New Canadians at greater risk of drowning

Study shows immigrants often lack swimming and boating skills


It may be because many new Canadians don’t have access to pools or lakes back home, or because of the lack of time and money for swimming lessons, but a new study shows that immigrants to Canada are at least four times more likely to be unable to swim than people born here. As a result, they are at a greater risk for drowning, according to a new Ipsos Reid Public Affairs study, which was commissioned by the Lifesaving Society. These findings confirm what drowning-prevention experts have suspected for nearly a decade, says Barbara Byers, the public education director of the Lifesaving Society: “For the first time, we have scientific, evidence-based data to support what our hypothesis was: that new Canadians have a higher drowning rate.”

Globe and Mail

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New Canadians at greater risk of drowning

  1. thank god for small favours!

    • I don't even want to ask what you are saying!! From the way the article reads, it doesn't sound like it is just "one" certain cultural group that does not swim but many. I was very surprised to learn that many people who live in countries bordering the ocean do not swim in the ocean. I think the mistake people make is that they think that the way to avoid drowning is to avoid the water, when the opposite is true. The way to avoid drowing is to become an expert swimmer. Drowning continues to be a significant cause of death for children in our country. People do not see swimming as an important life skill. I do not understand it. I think we need to re-evaluate the importance we place on it in the school ciriculum.

    • What a nasty thing to say.

      How can you possibly invoke God's name as you thank him for the deaths of these new Canadians.

      Yours is probably one of the most despicable posts I've read here. If you're any example of Canada, I wonder why anyone would want to move to the country.

    • Paraphrasing Tom Tucker, I suggest others who hold this opinion go fornicate themselves with a steel rod.

    • Chris007, I not sure if this is your attempt at some form of dark humor or if you are just a hateful disgusting individual..either way I don't think your comments are acceptable…not even in an intense debate.!

  2. … and if you don't know how to skydive, you have a greater risk of dying in a skydiving accident.

  3. sounds like a good excuse to open more pools…

  4. What a stupid study.Can I please have some money.I am poling to see if you jump off a ten story building if you break any bones.This study is rediculous.Are they saying ethnic people are to dumb to know they cant swim?

  5. I suspect the study is indicating that many of the countries that immigrants come from don't have facilities or cultures that encourage swimming. Then, as those immigrants begin to assimilate into mainstream Canadian culture, they attempt water-based activities without the skills or knowledge to be safe, or perhaps even the realization that they're putting themselves in danger. In Ottawa last summer, two Chinese students drowned on the Ottawa River after they paddled their inflatable boat out of a quiet bay and into the main channel of the river, which has several rapids and is used by kayakers to practice white-water skills. Several days later, a reporter called 911 when he came upon friends of the students trying to launch a boat to continue a search for their friends.

    It's kind of shameful to turn deaths into an opportunity to make crude racist jokes.

  6. The Red Cross runs a program for new Canadians that is designed to ease their transition to life here. One component is teaching about water safety. Instruction includes the proper fitting for lifejackets and why they are important, where to get more detailed instruction and they perils of mixing alcohol and the water, This program is offered in Spanish, Ukrainian and Mandarin.

    One of the reasons this study is important is that it is a hell of a lot cheaper to teach someone to be safe around the water than it is to treat them in a hospital after an accident.

  7. I believe that in general the message is people who swim in unfamiliar waters tend to drown more than those acquainted with their surroundings. On the Eastern coast there are many local reports of "experienced" swimmers drowning due to not recognizing the tides or currents. Swimming in a gym pool is not the same as a beach or a lake.