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Drowning Research

The Lifesaving Society has been researching and reporting on drowning and preventable water-related deaths for each province and nationally since 1990. This research provides a comprehensive fact base on the drowning problem to guide the Society and others in developing drowning prevention solutions.

The drowning research process involves data collection, research tabulation and analysis, and development of reports. A data collection form and process is used to extract the water-related deaths data from the offices of the Chief Coroners and Medical Examiners in each province. The scope of this research:

  • Collects the data needed to profile victims of aquatic incidents, including the circumstances and contributing factors under which these incidents occurred.
  • Includes all deaths in each province and Canada overall resulting from incidents "in, on or near water"; "near-water" incidents were included if the incident was closely related to water-based recreational, vocational or daily living activity, or if the presence of water appeared to be an attraction contributing to the incident.
  • Includes only preventable (unintentional) deaths. It does not include deaths due to natural causes, suicide, or homicide.

Drowning Reports

Drowning is serious threat. Hundreds of thousands of people drown every year. Population projections mean that the problem is going to get worse, especially in developing countries.

Counting victims does not save lives or reduce drowning - but understanding the magnitude of the problem and identifying the risk factors does allow lifesaving organizations to provide effective prevention actions to the highest risk populations, locations and activities.

View the 2017 Canadian Drowning Report.

View the 2017 Maritimes Drowning Report.

View the 2016 Newfoundland and Drowning Report.

Read the WHO media release and read or download the Global Report on Drowning: Preventing a Leading Killer.