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Cautionary Tips for Enjoying Your Summer at the Beach or Lake

A day at the water is fun for the whole family, but it is important to take proper care to ensure that everyone stays safe. Here are some tips for staying safe and enjoying your summer!

Swimming in Open Water:

  1. Be aware of rip currents: the telltale sign of a rip tide is being pulled away from shore. Instead of swimming directly toward the shore, against the strong rip current, swim parallel to the shore. This will allow you to escape the current and swim back to shore safely
  2. Read the safety signs: beaches will post signs alerting you of dangerous currents, bacteria, and creatures. Different beaches will have different signs, so be sure to check them before you enter the water to ensure your safety.
  3. Stay hydrated: stay hydrated to replenish yourself during the active day
  4. Swim with a buddy: bring someone with you to watch from shore in the event you get into trouble. This is recommended for both open water swimming and pool swimming.

Scuba Diving:

  1. Dive with a buddy: moving too far away from a diving buddy puts you at risk in the event of an emergency. An emergency procedures will require a second person nearby to assist.
  2. Double check all of your gear: take the time to ensure that your gear is in good working order. Even if you recently went diving, check again to prevent injuries from arising.
  3. Dive within your limits: do not over-exert yourself. It is better to remain safe and call off the dive early than to push beyond your limit and put yourself at risk

Open Water Diving/Cliff Jumping:

  1. Proper jumping: take the time to determine how far out you need to jump. Failure to do so can put you at risk of injury by missing your target.
  2. Be aware of sandbars: when diving into open water, there may be an unexpected sandbar making the water shallower than anticipated. This can result in injury if proper care is not taken in advance
  3. Protect from debris: deep, open water may contain debris that is difficult to spot. This debris might cause cuts or other damage to unsuspecting divers.
  4. Keep your body streamlined: if you do not remain in a streamlined position, you could risk damage to your arms or legs. Maintaining this position also helps you keep your balance.


  1. Do not drink alcohol if you are operating the boat: Boating while under the influence of alcohol is a criminal offence, just like driving under the influence
  2. Pack emergency supplies: keep a cellphone, lifejackets, sunscreen, water, food, clothes, and a whistle on-board. In the event of an emergency, you will have enough supplies to last until assistance arrives
  3. Plan for the weather: weather can change quickly. Check in advance to make sure you will not be caught in a storm or high winds

Rope Swings:

  1. Proper timing: it is critical that the timing from the jump from the rope swing is correct. Poor timing can result in a fall onto dangerous terrain. 
  2. Installing a swing: if you are setting up a rope swing, only attach the rope to a living branch to ensure that it is as strong as possible. Look for a branch with leaves and no fungus or rotten wood. 
  3. Check the strength of the rope: inspect the rope for any signs of frays or damage. This will weaken the rope, and poses a risk of snapping mid-swing.

If you are injured during your summer activities, contact a personal injury lawyer at McKenzie Lake Lawyers LLP by calling (519) 667-5666.

Don’t forget your sunscreen!

This blog was written by senior personal injury lawyer Louis DelSignore and summer student Aaron Ender.