Young beachgoers forced into life-jackets
Published Thursday, July 19, 2012 7:12PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 19, 2012 7:22PM EDT
MONTREAL - Golden sands, azure skies and blue water are common sights at any beach but Montreal’s Jean-Drapeau Park was also awash in orange Thursday.
Kids from daycamps were sporting bright orange lifejackets, now mandatory for many following a near-drowning Wednesday.
Kids who can’t demonstrate an ability to swim were made to wear the life-saving devices following a short evaluation conducted by lifeguards.
“Our lifeguards to test all of the children in terms of their swimming abilities, and the children who fail the test will have to wear a lifejacket here at the beach,” said Jean Drapeau Park official Nathalie Lessard.
One parent expressed strong approval after 93 kids were tested.
“I think that's wonderful. I don't even think my son ever put on a life jacket and he needs to know what it is. if they don't know how to swim, they need to wear one,” said Sharon Zabitsky, who has three children.
The new rule was deemed necessary following the sad events of the day prior.
“We have decided to up the scale just a little bit because we were really shaken by what happened yesterday and we want to make sure that nothing like that will happen again,” said one lifeguard.
The child survived but his injuries are still being evaluated.
He remains in critical condition, with a ventilator allowing him to keep breathing.