‘I want to see them everywhere’: Local father buys life-saving equipment for Langford Lake

'I want to see them everywhere': Local father buys life-saving equipment for Langford Lake

A Langford father and business owner is taking it upon himself to ensure families have a fun and safe summer at Langford Lake by purchasing life rings for the docks.

Ryan Oakley, owner of True North Group estate liquidation services, said he was devastated by the recent drowning of 17-year-old Keron Dequon McKay and didn’t understand how it could have happened.

“I said why didn’t anybody throw a life ring to the kid or something,” Oakley said. “[My girlfriend] said I don’t think there is any and I kind of didn’t believe her.”

The couple then drove to the lake to see if there was any lifejackets or life rings.

“There was no life-saving equipment at all and kind of worrisome because we do bring our kids here,” Oakley explained.

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He recently purchased five dock-edge life rings, hoops and equipment to install on the lake’s docks, easily accessible in case of an emergency.

“Make them visible, make them front and center. I will sponsor signage that’s required. We can put up big signs that say life ring here, locations for it, everything like that,” Oakley said. “We just want to sure these places are safe.”

This move by Oakley is being applauded by the Lifesaving Society BC & Yukon Branch.

Director of programs and services, Kimiko Hirakida, told CHEK News it’s a wonderful thing for a member of the public to step up and prevent drownings in their community.

Hirakida added it’s important to have life-saving equipment easily accessible like Oakley plans to do.

“The more we have out, the more the public are going to know to look for them when heading to a public beach area,” she explained. “They’re extremely important because everybody can save a life, everybody can do their part to keep people safe and doing their part for drowning prevention in, on and around the water.”

Before Oakley can install the life rings, he needs approval from Langford council.

He said he reached out to the Parks Department who likes his idea to install the safety equipment, but he hasn’t heard a response from council yet.

CHEK News has not yet received a response for comment, but the Mayor previously said water safety needs to be a priority.

On Wednesday, the Capital Regional District (CRD) park’s committee recommended safety measures like loaner lifejackets and life rings be installed at two of the region’s most popular swimming beaches, Elk Lake’s Hamsterly Beach and Thetis Lake, just in time for this summer.

Scott Goodmanson, mayor of Langford, said he hopes the CRD Parks Committee’s recommendation is the first step towards more safety on the water.

“I’m really hoping that this can spur a greater discussion, that this is beginning. I don’t like the term regulations, but best practices,” he told CHEK News Wednesday.


Since Langford Lake in Langford is not CRD property, it doesn’t fall under the committee’s recommendations.

Oakley said this is why he hopes to hear from council soon.

“I want to see them everywhere,” Oakley said. “I’m starting with five, I will continue this initiative as long as council says ‘yes, let’s do this,’ and I will supply as many as they want, as many as they need.”

With files from CHEK’s Mary Griffin

Mackenzie ReadMackenzie Read

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