British Columbians are overconfident in their swimming abilities, which could be leading to an increase in swimming-related incidents, a new BC Hydro report suggests.
The survey, which polled 600 people, found that 85 per cent of British Columbians considered themselves experienced swimmers – despite most only going into the water a few times a year. Ten percent of respondents said they’ve never completed a swimming lesson.
The survey also found that 30 percent of people polled have had a near-drowning experience, and another 53 percent have witnessed a person in distress while in the water.
Unsafe behaviors are also cited as a reason for increase in water incidents. Almost half of respondents said they’ve gone into the water under the influence of alcohol or cannabis – a decision men are 30 percent more likely to make than women.
The province sees an average of 76 drowning deaths per year, according to the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit.