Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Weekend Drownings Prompt Essential Water Safety Reminders

A trio of weekend deaths in Ontario lakes has OPP officers and EMS workers reminding folks of the supreme importance of water safety and the potentially tragic consequences that come with ignoring conventional wisdom.

On Friday afternoon, a father and son died when the latter's canoe capsized on Lake Slocombe (pictured) near Huntsville. 50-year-old Janusz Beilawski swam out 75 feet to help 24-year-old Thomas, but both men ended up under water. Neither was wearing a life jacket.

"I would like everybody to know, even if you're a professional swimmer like Janusz, very into the sport ... put your life jacket on," said Janina Ruta, a close family friend. "Janusz didn't have time to do anything, he just jumped to save his son."

The exact reason neither survived still isn't clear, though it's been suggested the water was simply too cold. Their joint funeral will be held in Mississauga Thursday morning.

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