An Ounce of Prevention…

I like to keep tabs on what’s happening in my adopted city, Vancouver BC, and today my Twitter pal Dixon Tam sent out a tweet about a post by our friend Gus Fosarolli in his Gus Digital blog.  It’s called “You Don’t Want to Drown Today”, and it centers on the efforts of a BC group called The Community Against Preventable Injuries to raise public awareness of drowning dangers.

Here are some sobering stats:

  • Half of the children who drown are alone and unsupervised
  • Alcohol was associated with 40% of drowning among Canadians aged 15 years and older
  • About 90% of people who drown while boating do not wear a life-jacket

The Community will be distributing beach towels and putting up signs and posters throughout BC. The overall message packs a punch:

“You’re Probably Not Expecting to Drown Today.”

Why did this post make me stop and write about this?

Because 40 years ago this summer, my cousin Robert O’Donnell drowned at the age of 17.

He was a smart, handsome boy who was loved by everyone. He was a wonderfully supportive son and brother. He had a promising life ahead of him. And it was cut short all too soon. To this day, I always wonder what the world would have been like with him here, and what he could have contributed to his family and community.

Hats off to The Community for all its hard work as it educates British Columbians that accidents can be prevented, and lives can be saved. Check them out here.

Have a happy – and safe – rest of the summer.