Drownings down by half in Quebec compared to 2013

With less than half the number of drownings this year than there were at this point last year, 2014 is looking to be a less deadly year on Quebec waters.

A new report from the Lifesaving Society of Quebec (LSQ) found 13 drowning fatalities in the province from the start of year until June 25. During the same period in 2013, there were 27 drowning deaths, according to unofficial numbers from the LSQ.

LSQ director general Raynald Hawkins says the number of drownings per year are continuing to improve, as they consistently have been since 1991.

Hawkins told CJAD News this year's low drowning rate could have something to do with Quebec's abysmal spring this year.

Environment Canada measured an average of nearly 170 mm of rain during June in Quebec. In June of 2013, it was about 115 mm.

"No one was near or on the water with the bad weather we had, but overall when I'm looking at the drowning data [since] 1991, we cannot say that for all those years," said Hawkins.

Since 1991 death by drowning levels have fallen from a peak of 152 in 1995 to an estimated 50 last year.

One factor that could explain the lower death rate could be better water safety education, according to Hawkins.

Quebec sees over 40 per cent of its drowning cases in rivers, according to LSQ estimates. That is higher than any other province.

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