Press Releases

Drowning Report 2017

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

For Immediate Release

Lifesaving Society announces the release of the 2017 Drowning Report

The Lifesaving Society is a National Not-For-Profit organization, solely focused on drowning prevention.  Each year, the Lifesaving Society along with our partners release this report to inform on the issues of drowning related deaths in the province.


Highlights of the Report

  • This year’s report (2017) reports on data up to and including 2014. The delay is due to ensuring accuracy of reporting from coroner’s reports.
  • The highest drowning rate in Manitoba was found among children under the age of 5; and was the highest among any province in Canada.
  • The second highest age group for drownings in Manitoba was ages 20-24, with 3.4 drownings per 100,000 a rate that is nearly double the national rate of 1.8 drownings per 100,000.
  • Swimming, walking/running/playing near water, and boating remain leading causes of drownings in Manitoba and 96% of boating deaths were not wearing a Lifejacket.

The Key Message

Manage your risk.  Take a minute to evaluate the drowning risks you face each day, be it playing at the waterfront with kids, boating, or fishing.  Wear a Lifejacket, supervise children, and remember that alcohol and boating or swimming does not mix.


Kevin Tordiffe,

Operations Manager,

Lifesaving Society Manitoba Branch


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JOB POSTING Project Manager – Canadian Drowning Prevention Plan

This is a part-time position (20-24 hours per week) designed to work with the Canadian Drowning Prevention Coalition Steering Committee to coordinate and develop the Canadian Drowning Prevention Plan. The aspirational long-term goal of the Plan is for zero drowning deaths in Canada in 50+ years. The plan is dynamic and changes as often as every six months to reflect the progress of data, actions, and outcomes in key focus areas for drowning prevention.

A significant component of this role will be coordinating the Canadian Drowning Prevention Coalition, a group of stakeholders tasked with developing and implementing drowning prevention strategies. Further, the project manager is expected to co-ordinate the appointment of Technical Working Group leaders in key focus areas for drowning prevention and provide administrative support to the Technical Working Groups. The successful applicant will be an experienced project manager who will provide coordination and assistance in the collaboration of several participant organizations from a variety of sectors including not-for-profit, government, educational and private agencies.

The position will require strong consensus-building skills with staff, volunteers, participating organizations, government representatives and others. Maintaining a link with corresponding strategies within the global drowning prevention community and within other countries will be essential.

Excellent verbal and written English skills are required along with a high level of facilitation and interpersonal skills. Prior experience writing grant applications and proposals will be considered an asset. Considerable knowledge of the needs and issues within public health as they relate to drowning prevention is essential. Proof of prior proficient management of financial/human resources will be an asset and bilingualism is preferred. The position will provide all administrative support to the Canadian Drowning Prevention Coalition, Coalition Steering Committee, and Technical Working Groups. Strong administrative and organizational skills are necessary.

Ideally, the Project Manager will work out of the National office of the Lifesaving Society in Ottawa, ON. However working out of one of the branch offices of the Lifesaving Society may be possible. S/he will be considered a part-time employee of the Lifesaving Society and will be eligible for participation in the benefits plan as per current policies. The salary range will be $25 – $30/per hour, commensurate with qualifications.

Send cover letter & resume to the attention of Dale Miller, Interim National Executive Director by Tuesday July 4, 2017 via mail to 112-3989 Henning Dr, Burnaby, BC V5C 6N5 or e-mail to

Thank you in advance to all applicants; only those considered will be contacted.

The Manitoba Branch would support any applicants from Manitoba working from our offices.

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Canadian Coast Guard closures

The Lifesaving Society has produced the follow letter in response to announced closures of Canadian Coast Guard Bases in Gimli, Selkirk, and Lake of the Woods Kenora Ontario.  This letter has been sent addressed to several Members of Parliament and The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau.


Friday, June 2, 2017


RE: The closure of Coast Guard Services


The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau

Office of the Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street.
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2



I am writing on behalf of the Lifesaving Society, Canada’s water safety and lifeguard experts. It is with great concern that we hear through the media and social media of the planned closure of Canadian Coast Guard bases in Gimli, Selkirk, and Kenora Ontario.


The Lifesaving Society tracks drowning statistics in Canada and the most recent 5-year trend in drowning fatalities in Manitoba found that the lead cause of death was related to Boating Incidents.


The Canadian Coast Guard provides vital services in navigation and search and rescue in an effort to reduce drowning fatalities from boating.  Navigation services is the act of prevention that must continue, and any reduction to Navigations services will likely lead to a loss of capacity in search and rescue.


I would encourage you to fight for these vital services in Manitoba and Lake of the Woods Kenora Ontario, to ensure the Canadian Coast Guard maintains its presence and actions in drowning prevention.


I offer to meet with you to discuss these issues and others surrounding the importance of drowning reduction, prevention, and water safety education.



Kevin Tordiffe,

Operations Manager

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RLSS Diploma Program

RLSS Diploma Program Relaunched

The Lifesaving Society is pleased to work in conjunction with our partners at the Royal Life Saving Society in promoting the Diploma Program.  This program is designed to promote academic research, program development, and public education in drowning prevention.

This program is the highest achievement award within the Common Wealth for contributions to drowning prevention.

For more information, contact the Manitoba Branch.

Submission documentation is attached below.


RLSS Diploma Submission Document 2016


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May 17, 2017 – Winnipeg, MB, — North American Safe Boating Awareness Week will take place across Canada from May 20th to May 26th, 2017. The purpose of this initiative, managed by the CSBC (Canadian Safe Boating Council) and the Lifesaving Society – Manitoba Chapter is to promote safe and responsible boating practices to the 14 million Canadians who participate in recreational boating.

“Going for a boat ride, fishing off the dock, or participating in water sports are great ways to make memories with your family and friends,” said Lifesaving Society – Manitoba Branch Operations Manager Kevin Tordiffe. “But it’s so very important to be safe in the water.”

Although boating related fatalities have trended downwards in past years, there continues to be an average of over 100 boating related deaths annually in Canadian waters. With people gearing-up to launch their boats after a long winter, the goal of the week is to continue to bring those numbers down by ensuring Canadians who head out in any type of boat have the appropriate knowledge to help them have a safe day on the water.

The timing of the week, starting on the May long weekend is perfectly aligned with the unofficial start of summer and a time when many boating fatalities occur.

There are five key boating safety messages to be delivered, all directed towards the most common boating related accidents.  They include:

  1. The importance of wearing a lifejacket
  2. The dangers associated with drinking and boating
  3. The importance of taking a safe boating course
  4. Ensuring that you and your vessel are prepared before casting off
  5. The risks associated with a fall into cold water

Manitoba has some of the best parks and beaches in the country,” said Tordiffe. “I’m encouraging all Manitobans to get out and enjoy these attractions safely.”

Media Availability:  Thursday May 18th 11am at the Forks under the canopy between the Johnston Terminal and the Forks Market.

Short Safe Boating videos for use by Media to share on their social media and webpages can be found at:

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For further information contact:               

Lorne Edwards
Media Outreach – Prairie Region
204-227-6894 (cell)

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About the Lifesaving Society

The Lifesaving Society: Canada's lifeguarding experts. We are a full-service provider of programs, products and services designed to prevent drowning. We save lives and prevent water-related injury through our training programs, Water Smart® public education, drowning prevention research, aquatic safety management and lifesaving sport. Each year, more than 1,000,000 Canadians participate in the Society's swimming, lifesaving, lifeguarding and leadership programs. Learn More