Friday, 20 August 2010

Drownings in Ontario - Statistics 2010

Same old, same old. I have rewritten this post to include current data.
Another dreadful week in Ontario. Three deaths on the roads, more drownings. Our laws say that there must be one life-jacket per person on-board a vessel. Not having one can result in a $250 fine.

I e-mailed Barbara Byers, of the Lifesaving Society.

As of today, Aug. 20th,  the number of drownings in Ontario from January to today is 90. The total for the same time last year is 87.
This includes drownings in lakes, rivers and pools."

Since May  6 toddlers have died in Ontario. 
 Ottawa woman, 19, latest summer drowning
Ottawa Citizen
One man, 26-year-old Michel Daoust, died after jumping from a cliff into Otty Lake near Perth. In the latest tragedy, police and firefighters were called to the scene. He jumped off at about 3:50 p.m. and didn't surface. His body was recovered.

Ontario coroner to review all drownings -

6. 20 Aug  Bruce Peninsula - Twenty-four Year Old Drowns At Sauble Beach (#91?)
Mississauga man latest in spate of Ontario drownings‎ 

A 24-year-old Mississauga man died Thursday at Sauble Beach, the latest in a string of drownings inOntario this week. The man, whose identity has not been released, had been swimming in rough waters in Lake Huron, where two other young people drowned this week. 

5. Burlington man's death latest in a string of drownings

The drowning at Sherkston Shores park Thursday evening was the second Lake Erie drowning in Ontario this week. Marco Butler, 18, of Stoney Creek.

4. Body of woman drowned near Perth found19 Aug 2010 ... Police have found the body of 19-year-old Kristen Cross, of Ottawa, who disappeared Wednesday while swimming in a lake about 30 kilometres west of Perth, S.W. of Ottawa, on Dalhousie Lake.

Locals know that the lake is a lovely shallow lake, but 400metres is a long swim, especially if you are drunk. One person dropped her off in the lake, and took off on Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday afternoon her body was found.
The law says that boats and Personal Water Craft (PWC) must have a life jacket on board, but adults make choices not to wear them.
For the most part, clever parents put life jackets on children.

I would hope that this tragedy will be a lesson that will prevent another death.

3. Another drowningStation Beach in Kincardine
On Monday, August 16th, Oksana Milovanovic, a 16-year old exchange student from Vertou, France. Her body was found at around 7 a.m. on the shores of Kincardine beach, approximately one kilometre north of where she was last seen.
Oksana Milovanovic went missing in Lake Huron on her second day in Canada. Her body was found Thursday, August 19th. This is the 3rd drowning this week.

The OPP marine unit, underwater search and rescue unit, and an OPP helicopter as well as detachment members on foot and ATVs were involved in the search for Milovanovic. Condolences to the family, whom the OPP met at the airport. 

2. Boy dead following Georgian Bay drowning incident

19 Aug 2010 ... A 10-year-old boy is dead and a 63-year-old woman is in hospital following a canoeing mishap that led to an overnight search on Georgian Bay.

1.Man drowns in Nottawasaga River - CTV News

10 Jul 2010 ... Witnesses said the 31-year-old victim waded into the river to his death marks the fourth drowning in the Georgian Bay area this year.

We have had so many drownings, but the causes vary. Mandatory life jackets will not prevent swimming and alcohol-related drownings. But they should be mandatory for children on a boat. Even then, as with the Georgian Bay incident, winds come up suddenly, a current takes them down the lake or river.  In addition, as the Marine Division of the OPP have been saying, kid's inflatable toys are not life preservers and belong in a pool, not in a lake, with boats and the wind creating large waves.

The family, at left, has a child in front (which is illegal) and lost the one in the back (which is just stupid). If they are going to participate in stupid, illegal activities, they are not going to follow mandated life jackets!

Immigrants are at higher risk for drowning while boating and swimming than people born in Canada, according to research from the Lifesaving Society.
Almost 20 per cent of immigrants are non-swimmers, compared to 4 per cent of people born in Canada, the study found. When they see 'locals' swimming at a fishing hole, e.g., Bala Falls, they jump in, too, unaware of the current and ignoring signage. last year in Bala, two men drowned (non-swimmers) who chased after a child floating away while wearing a life jacket.
I believe that adults should be given the benefit of making their own life choices. People swimming, non-swimmers falling into the water, high-speed boats, there are many reasons for people drowning...

  • waterskiing without a spotter
  • children swimming alone, or in dangerous water
  • young males swimming in dangerous places (three this year)
  • Poor equipment or equipment failure
  • seniors swimming alone (a sector that is increasing due to demographics, and a stubborn independence!)
  • inexperienced canoeists (two in 2009m a couple more this year)
  • inexperienced swimmers near a dam (one last year, 2 this year)
  • Personal Watercraft (PWC) operators speeding
  • people unfamiliar with boats (bad enough)
  • too many boats in a small area
  • fishing drunk (even worse)
  • boating drunk (the worst)
But the majority of drownings occur when males are fishing. Honestly!
Fishing: the cause of more deaths
14 May 2009
In the decade from 1991-2000, there were 5,900 water-related deaths  in Canada; of that total, 889 died fishing. More fishers drown than swimmers. And more fishers die than power boaters, canoeists, scuba divers, sailors and kayakers combined.

Ontario drownings continue.
Put the life jackets on the children at all times on a boat. But when I am quietly riding soberly in my canoe in September, when all is quiet, on a calm, still day, surely I should be able to make my own decision. The life jacket is there and no one is around. My husband demands I wear it, and I do, but I think this type of a law crosses the boundary.

There are always going to be drownings, although many are preventable. We phoned the police last year since cottage renters were drinking, setting off fireworks and being raucous in the wee hours. A bit later, after the police had visited and told them to be quiet, they then went out on the water. You could hear that they had been drinking. These people could have drowned. I heard them. They were being crazy. If we wanted to prevent drownings we could force everyone near the water or swimming to wear them. But this is ridiculous. Adults make stupid choices. Adults who fish and drink, who stand up in boats without life jackets, are taking a risk. They know it. Adults who swim in the dark while drunk make choices. We cannot legislate smart behaviour.

~~~~~~~~ My Muskoka: Watery Wednesday #48 (2009) By Jenn Jilks
I was quoted in the Globe and Mail: “Nothing's changed,” said Jennifer Jilks, a Muskoka cottager for more than 40 years and author of My Muskoka. “The attitude is, they come up here and it's party time.”

2009 Statistics for Muskoka

2008 Statistics for Muskoka


Cloudia said...

It takes a Buddha-like compassion to witness and remain unruffled. Good on you for your efforts!
Comfort Spiral

Jamie (California) said...

I stumbled across your blog, and I must say it's just about the most beautifully arannged and eye-pleasing personal blog I have ever seen. I am sort of stymied at how you seem to so freely move and place photos and blog elements of varying size on the page. It almost appears that you are totally free from the rigid constraints of Google's somewhat limited blog formats/templates.

Anyway, I was wondering if you might take a second to tell me what Google template you used/modified? Looking at your blog, it seems that you just size and place elements almost anywhere you please to suit your own personal sense for design - something, BTW, I am aiming for.

Thank you so very much.

Jenn Jilks said...

Jamie, I really don't have a lot of time to explain. You have to find what you like the look of, read the source code, and try to repeat it. Google has some nice templates, and that is what I used at first, changing it to suit me.

It is important to understand the 5 principles of design, too!