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HomeNewsCommunity members reminded to wear their life jackets ahead of Victoria Day...

Community members reminded to wear their life jackets ahead of Victoria Day weekend

With the increased current through waterways in the Bulkley Valley and Lakes District, the Pool and Rec Centre is reminding people to put on their life jacket. 

This coincides with National Life Jacket Day today, which was started by the Red Cross. 

Aquatic Coordinator Jasmine Ryley said because of the event, the number of deaths has decreased since 1994. 

“An average of around 55 people die in BC each year due to drowning. That’s specifically water transportation related incidents.” 

In 1994, the average was around 155. 

She added having a properly fitted life jacket is required to reduce the risk of it either slipping off or being improperly rated for your weight. 

“The inside of the life jacket has a label, and it provides you with a lot of information regarding the size, the maximum weight it can carry, when it was made, and any warnings and safety considerations.” 

When sizing a life jacket, Ryley said to make sure it’s snug around your chest and that you aren’t restricted in your movement. 

If you notice any wear and tear, the jacket should not be used and taken somewhere to be shredded. 

“There’s no lifespan for life jackets. It all depends on the condition of the jacket. Some manufactured will recommend 10 years before getting a new one, some recommend one to two years,” said Ryley. 

She has some tips for if you fall into water without a life jacket. 

“The number one this is to stay calm. Try and keep your head above the [water] surface. Do your best to look for the nearest point of safety, the shore, or something to grab onto. If you are being carried downstream, you want to make sure you’re oriented so that your feet are facing forward.” 

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