Near-drowning in Tofino prompts warning from Parks Canada

Parks Canada
A pair of surfers in wet suits approach the ocean at Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Parks Canada is reminding visitors to be “Coast Smart” after a near-drowning incident took place in Tofino recently.

The frightening incident occurred on Long Beach at Lovekin Rock, when someone was swimming but unable to make it back to shore.

“Although the individual was rescued safely and taken for medical attention, this is an important reminder for us all to understand the risks of ocean activities,” said Nancy Hildebrand, public relations and communications officer with Parks Canada, on Friday.

“The Pacific Ocean remains cold all year. It is important to wear the proper gear, including a wet suit before heading into the water,” she said.

Parks Canada encourages all visitors to be aware of safety hazards in the region.

Anyone who is swimming or surfing should use “extreme caution,” according to Parks Canada, and should learn about rip currents, tides, and other hazards like rolling beach logs.

“Know your limits and surf within your abilities – take a lesson,” recommends Parks Canada.

Visitors are also encouraged to bring proper equipment, like a wet suit, and to make sure children are always supervised if they’re in the water.

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(Parks Canada)

Being ‘Coast Smart’

More ocean safety tips can be found on the Coast Smart website.

Coast Smart was developed in collaboration between the Districts of Tofino and Ucluelet and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

The website includes informational videos, as well as quick, easy-to-digest facts.

Parks Canada also notes that all beaches in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are unsupervised, meaning no lifeguards are on duty.

More information about the park, and safety tips on it, can be found on the Parks Canada website.

Adam Chan

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