Water Safety - Swim to Survive®
The following describes the Lifesaving Society’s Swim to Survive® Standard. More information about the program and other water safety considerations (such as lifeguarding) is available at www.lifesaving.org
- Students participating in water activities conducted in water deeper than chest height should meet the Swim to Survive® Standard.
- Students who cannot meet the Swim to Survive® Standard can still participate in deep water activities as long as they are wearing a properly fitted lifejacket or personal floatation device (PFD).
- Prior to participating in boating activities, students should demonstrate the three skills involved in the Swim to Survive® Standard while wearing a properly fitted life jacket or PFD.
Swim to Survive® Standard:
The Swim to Survive® Standard is a simple, straightforward and focused national standard that defines the minimum swimming skills needed to survive an unexpected fall into deep water. The Swim to Survive® Standard is a sequence of three skills:
Swim to Survive® Standard = ROLL into deep water + TREAD water (1 min.) + SWIM 50m
||Essential Skill & Rationale
|Roll into water
Minimum safe depth for teaching in 2.5m or 8 ft. 4 inches.
|Orient oneself at the surface after an unexpected entry.
A fall into water is distorting and a threat to normal respiration.
|Tread water for 1 minute
||Support oneself at the surface.
Canadian waters are generally cold enough year-round to trigger a gasping reflex on unexpected immersion. The ability to tread water allows you to protect your airway while regaining control of your breathing.
|Swim 50 metres
||Swim to safety.
Lifesaving Society research shows most drownings occur within 3 to 15 metres of safety (dock, shoreline, pool edge). Because your ability may be impaired by cold water, clothing, etc, we use a 50 m distance as a reasonable standard.