Water safety no laughing matter

As a utility built on hydroelectric power, we know a thing or two about water. We especially know the importance of water safety. That's why we've teamed up with The Community Against Preventable Injuries (Preventable) to raise awareness of water safety. And although it's something we take seriously, this summer, you'll see a little laughter to start our campaign.

To raise awareness about the importance of water safety, Preventable is leading a campaign to dress local monuments located near water with personal flotation devices (PFDs). The campaign launched with Vancouver's very own laughing statues at English Bay getting a safe look for summer. Watch for the campaign at beaches in Kelowna and Victoria this summer.

Spread the word, save lives

In B.C., it's estimated that drowning results in around 60 preventable deaths each year. Statistics show that two-thirds of people who have drowned never intended to go in the water.

Check out the campaign videos and help spread the word about water safety.

Water safety around our facilities

Many of BC Hydro's recreational areas are located on working reservoirs and while we encourage everyone to take advantage of them, we want to make sure you stay safe.

For your personal safety, observe all warning signs and stay well back from BC Hydro operating areas and structures.

Important safety info

  • There are often no lifeguards on duty at our facilities. Please be aware of the safety precautions in the recreation area you are attending. In the event of an emergency, contact the Recreation Area Warden or phone 911. Visitors are required to obey the safety directions of all on-site BC Hydro Recreation Area staff.
  • An approved personal flotation device (PFD) is required by law for each person on board any boat or canoe. This includes inflatables. Remember that it won't work if you don't wear it. A sound signaling device, such as a whistle, is also required by law.
  • Small boats with a rounded bottom tip easily. Keep your centre of gravity as low as possible by sitting or kneeling even when reeling in a fish. Don't overload your boat or canoe with people or gear.
  • Watch the weather. Check the forecast before starting out. Be alert for the wave, wind and cloud changes that signal bad weather is approaching.
  • Cold water reduces body heat 25 times faster than air does at the same temperature. Many of the lakes in our recreation facilities are cold enough to cause serious harm. Wearing your PFD increases your survival time.
  • Alcohol affects your ability to function in three critical ways. Your balance, judgment and reaction time are affected almost immediately with the first drink. Remember: alcohol and water don't mix!
  • Never leave children unsupervised while they are in or near the water. Children and non-swimmers should wear a PFD.
  • Be back on shore 30 minutes before posted closing times.

Check out more safety tips from the Canadian Red Cross, and remember to stay safe this summer.