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