National Drowning Prevention Week begins ahead of grim anniversary of Wasaga Beach drowning


Sunday marks the start of National Drowning Prevention Week and it comes one day before the 10th anniversary of the drowning of a 9-year-old boy at Wasaga Beach.

The OPP are reminding the public of the story of Zach Haskett. The 9-year-old lost his life on July 18, 2012 in the waters of Wasaga Beach.

“It was a day I will never forget. It’s also the day and the reason I became a water safety advocate, so no other parent will feel the loss of losing a child to drowning. “said Melissa Haskett, Zach’s mother. a social media post shared by the Ontario Provincial Police. “Swimming lessons are very important for every child to learn. It’s a life skill they will take with them for the rest of their lives.”

Police say so far this year they have already rescued dozens of people from the waters of Georgian Bay. According to the police, the mouth of the Nottawasaga River is a particularly dangerous place due to the surf and heavy boat traffic.

The Lifesaving Society and OPP have provided several tips for anyone going in the water:

  • Supervise children at all times
  • Wear life jackets at all times
  • Know how to swim properly
  • Stay sober at all times
  • Obey all beach signs
  • Do not swim in unauthorized areas

Melissa, who says young Zach was a good soul taken way too soon, said in the video released by police that time is always running out with the drownings.

“[He was] such a sweet and caring little boy who I miss every second of every day. Please be water sure. Never take your eyes off your children for even a second because drowning is silent and only takes seconds,” says Melissa. “If you go out with a flotation device, always wear your life jacket. It must be on to save your life, not at your feet.”


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