“86 Dead in B.C. Drowning Tragedy: New Data Reveals Alarming Trend”

By | July 18, 2023



Accidental drowning remains a significant concern in British Columbia, as new data released by the coroner’s service shows that 86 people lost their lives to drowning last year. This number is higher than the ten-year average of 76 deaths and represents the second-highest annual total in the past decade. In 2020, there were 87 accidental drownings, making it clear that this issue requires attention and prevention efforts.

The majority of victims were male, accounting for 78% of the total. The age group with the highest number of drownings was between 19 and 29 years old, comprising one in five deaths. Furthermore, 85% of the victims were residents of British Columbia.

The report highlights that rivers, creeks, lakes, and ponds pose the greatest risk, accounting for 57% of all drownings during the reported time period. The Fraser River recorded the highest number of deaths, with 53, followed by Okanagan Lake with 30. Additionally, ocean drownings made up 19% of the accidental deaths.

Surprisingly, the data reveals that bathtubs were responsible for 10% of all drownings, while swimming pools and hot tubs each accounted for an additional 4%. It is crucial to address safety measures and raise awareness about the potential dangers in seemingly harmless environments.

The report also emphasizes the activities associated with drowning incidents. Boating and swimming were identified as the most dangerous activities, contributing to 37% of incidents, followed by falls into water at 17%.

Furthermore, drugs and alcohol were contributing factors in 38% of all accidental drownings between 2012 and 2020. This highlights the need for education and prevention campaigns targeting substance use and its potential impacts on water safety.


It is important to use this data to inform public awareness campaigns, implement safety measures, and promote responsible behavior around water bodies. By addressing the key risk factors and providing education on water safety, we can work towards reducing the number of tragic drownings in British Columbia..