Swim to Survive®

“Acquisition of basic swimming ability is a fundamental requirement in any meaningful attempt to eliminate drowning in Canada.”

-Lifesaving Society Position Statement, 2000

ROLL Into Deep Water

Orientate yourself at the surface after an expected entry. A fall into water is disoprientating and a threat to normal breathing.

TREAD Water for 60 Seconds

Support yourself at the surface. Canadian waters are generally cold enough year round to trigger a gasping reflex on unexpected immersion. The ability to tread water allows you to protect your airway while gaining control of your breathing.

SWIM 50 Metres

Swim to safety. Lifesaving Society Research shows most drownings occur within 3-15 metres of safety (dock, shoreline, pool edge). Because your ability may be impaired by cold weather, clothings, etc., we use a 50m distance as a reasonable standard.

The Swim to Survive® Program was designed as an important first step in learning self rescue skills needed to be safe in and around water. Swim to Survive® could make the difference between life and death when immersion in water is sudden and unexpected.

 Just as riding a bike takes practice, learning to swim is not an innate skill - it must be taught. The Lifesaving Society estimates that only about half of Canadian children will take traditional swimming lessons, although "swimming" is the second most popular recreational activity in children between the ages of 5 - 12.

Although Swim to Survive® is targeted to children, it is something everyone of all ages should be able to do. It can be ran as part of swimming lessons or it can be delivered as its own program.

Our research shows most drownings occur close to safety.  The Society believes if every child in Canada could pass the Swim to Survive® Standard, it would reduce the number of drownings by as much as 70%.

Do you have a group of people that would like to accomplish the Swim to Survive® challenge (Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, church group, summer camp, school group)? Contact the Lifesaving Society for more information.