Canadian Red Cross goes overseas to increase water safety

Topics: National, Water Safety
October 28, 2013

Canadian Red Cross goes overseas to increase water safety

The Canadian Red Cross is one of the most active non-profit organizations in Canada, helping to improve the lives of those in need through a range of services. From emergency and disaster relief to first aid and CPR courses, the work of the Canadian Red Cross is never finished, but makes a powerful impact on individuals affected by adversity.

One of the most significant ways that the Canadian Red Cross helps reduce emergencies is by offering a range of swimming and water safety programs. Since 1946, the Canadian Red Cross has been committed to improving the confidence and knowledge that Canadians have of water safety and drowning prevention techniques.

The success of programs in Canada has spurred the Canadian Red Cross to help out another Red Cross National Society overseas - in China.

Working with the Red Cross Society of China 
China has one of the highest drowning rates in the world, which is why the Red Cross Society of China has sought to develop new ways to reduce this emergency and raise public awareness about the importance of water safety.

To help the Red Cross Society of China reduce drowning rates, Swimming and Water Safety Master Instructor Trainers Anne Porteous, Paula Thulin and Kevin Paes traveled to Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province to help instruct 25 teachers on Canadian swimming and water safety techniques and methods.

In addition, two Canadian Red Cross staff members, Mindy Chiang, from International Operations, and Kimberley Nemrava, director of British Columbia and Yukon, accompanied the trainers on their journey.

In June 2012, the Water Safety Training program - which was piloted in Xiamen, Fujian Province - also received the Canadian Red Cross' Excellence in Programs award.

Only 1.3 Canadians per 100,000 now die as a result of drowning, which is significantly lower than the 8 in every 100,000 Canadians who died due to drowning in 1946, when the water safety program began. This makes the Canadian Red Cross an organization to look for inspiration from for other countries struggling with drowning prevention techniques.

Make a difference
When it comes to staying safe in and around the water, the Canadian Red Cross' water safety programs can make an important impact. The skills and knowledge that people can develop through Canadian Red Cross programs may help reduce the occurrence of drowning and other aquatic emergencies.

In addition, swimming and water safety programs offered by the Canadian Red Cross can give people the opportunity to explore new opportunities, create friendships and develop stronger ties within a community.

To show your support for the Canadian Red Cross' work, please donate online or consider giving at a local Red Cross office today.