An off-duty Vernon RCMP officer’s quick action saved a woman from drowning earlier this month at a beach in Lake Country.
Const. Kerri Parish was enjoying a beach day with her family at Pebble Beach Friday, July 9, when a commotion in the water drew her attention.
A woman had fallen off her floatie and appeared to be struggling to stay afloat.
Immediately, Const. Parish grabbed her paddleboard and raced out to the woman who was now underwater.
The officer pulled the woman onto the paddleboard and swam her back to shore. The woman, somewhat disoriented, was otherwise well and RCMP say she and her family were incredibly grateful for the assistance.
“I knew something was wrong and I had to act quickly,” said Const. Parish. “I feel blessed to have been in the right place and time, with the right equipment available that allowed me to help.”
This message comes in time for National Drowning Prevention Week (July 18-24).
The incident, RCMP said, serves as a good reminder that most drownings are preventable.
Here are some things you can do to stay safe around water:
- Swim with a buddy. Never swim alone and always swim with another responsible swimmer;
- Supervise children closely. If they are more than arms reach, they are too far away;
- Know the swimming area. Be aware of currents, sudden drop-offs to deep water, undertows and other hidden dangers;
- Don’t drink and play, do not mix alcohol or other drugs with water activities;
- Non-swimmers should wear a lifejacket. Keeping a lifejacket close by isn’t close enough. Wear it.
For more additional water safety information, visit the Lifesaving Society of BC.