Water Smart® Public Education

About 500 people drown in Canada every year, but most drownings are preventable. Learn how to be Water Smart® whenever you’re in, on, or around water!

Water Smart® is the Lifesaving Society’s public education initiative with the objective of making all Manitobans savvy around water. Water Smart® delivers personal lifesaving education messages designed to modify high-risk behaviour and increase awareness of the responsibility individuals assume for themselves and others when in, on, or near the water.

Read our Public Education Guide for some Water Smart® ideas.

Swim to Survive®

The Swim to Survive® standard represents the minimum skills needed to survive an unexpected fall into water. French, Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Hindi, Tamil, and Portuguese Swim to Survive® videos are also available.

With all the water in Canada, minimum swimming ability is a required life skill for survival. Learning to swim is the most immediate and effective way to prevent drowning and water-related injury.

Simple, straightforward and focused, the Canadian Swim to Survive® Standard defines the essential minimum skills required to survive an unexpected fall into water and forms the basis for the Lifesaving Society’s Swim for Life swimming program.

The Swim to Survive® Standard has received international attention and significant interest from injury prevention experts in Europe, Australia and in the United States.

Swim to Survive Standard

  • Roll into water – Orient yourself at the surface after an unexpected entry
  • Tread water for 1 minute – Support yourself at the surface and get your bearings
  • Swim for 50 metres – Using any method of propulsion, swim to safety

Wear Your Lifejacket!

The Lifesaving Society’s drowning reports show that not wearing a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD) is a relevant factor in the majority of boating deaths. Many lives could be saved every year in Canada if lifejackets and PFDs were worn.

Lifejackets don’t work if you don’t wear them. Some people believe they can put on their lifejacket should they find themselves in an emergency. This is not true. Emergencies happen in a split-second, and people in these situations will not have the time to put on a lifejacket.

Here are some resources from our boating safety partners:

Inflatable lifejackets are increasingly popular, especially for fishers and boaters. Check out this video from our partners at SmartBoater.ca to learn more about these lifesaving devices!
This Transport Canada video gives handy information about children’s lifejackets. Don’t forget the safety straps!