The City of Surrey is now allowing residents to borrow life-jackets at Crescent Beach and is also providing free life-jacket fitting assessments at all city pools.
The city announced the new water safety initiative, with support of the Surrey Fire Fighters Association and water safety mascot Buckles, at a media event in Crescent Beach Tuesday afternoon.
Crescent Beach resident and Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum told media he has been walking the beach for more than 50 years, adding “I was out here this morning at 5:30 walking this beach.”
He said over the years, he has noticed an increased number of people using the beach.
“Every summer, thousands flock to the beach or the pool to beat the heat and, unfortunately, we see a significant increase in drowning from May to September throughout the province, especially, and it’s sad, this coming weekend,” McCallum said.
The mayor said he has a personal connection to the cause, adding that he used to be a lifeguard at Surrey pools and a former competitive swimmer.
“My stroke was breast stroke, one of the hardest strokes,” he said after the formal presentation, adding that he likes to kayak Crescent Beach, and “I always wear a life-jacket.”
The city has six indoor pools and eight outdoor pools.
Life-jackets, for both adults and children, will be available at the Crescent Beach lifeguard station (12111 Sullivan St.) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. when staffed by a lifeguard.