Sunday, June 04, 2006

Toronto Police To The Rescue

ring buoy
Originally uploaded by 416style.
In an added bit of excitement during our Doors Open tour of the Toronto Police Marine Unit we witnessed the police make a speedy rescue of a man who'd fallen in from the pier. The man and his wife may have been tourists as they couldn't speak English, making the rescue somewhat harder.

Given that the city can be so uptight about water barriers and fences - even in some cases for public fountains - it suprises me that there aren't more blockades to certain points on the harbourfront pier that lack even a chain link to keep the public back. From what I discovered this man had just gotten too close and slipped. Even for those of us who can swim, the cold water can be a serious shock to the system.

Once in Stockholm in May my friends and I decided to cool off after a competitive game of basketball, the cold water made me lose my breath immediately and I couldn't react. My friends on the dock grabbed me out (I was a lifeguard at the time). Hypothermia can be another risk in cold water.

When you're out near the water with friends and family this summer wear a lifejacket where possible and keep your eye on kids at all times. I can't tell you the number of times I had to jump in and pull kids from the pool beacause parents had turned their backs thinking that lifeguards could also "babysit" their kids at the pool. With 1 lifeguard for about every 75 patrons it's near to impossible to manage when parents don't assist. Be water smart this summer.


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