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Parks Canada gives warning after near-drowning in Tofino

Surfers leave a Tofino beach as Lovekin Rock is viewed in the distance. (CTV Vancouver Island) Surfers leave a Tofino beach as Lovekin Rock is viewed in the distance. (CTV Vancouver Island)
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Parks Canada is urging anyone planning to enjoy Vancouver Island’s west coast this summer to be prepared after a swimmer nearly drowned in the area.

The incident happened recently at Lovekin Rock on Long Beach, within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, when a swimmer was unable to return to shore.

The individual was rescued and received medical attention, according to Parks Canada.

“This is an important reminder for us all to understand the risks of ocean activities,” a spokesperson wrote in an email to CTV News Monday.

The Pacific Ocean is cold all year, so swimmers should wear a wetsuit if swimming in Tofino and Ucluelet, Parks Canada says.

The statement says it does its part by assessing risks, managing hazards and providing safety information, while visitors can do their part by educating themselves on ocean safety.

Tips include learning about rip currents and other hazards, knowing your limits and surfing within your abilities, having the proper equipment, and supervising children near water.

“Whether you dream of beach combing, surfing, wading, or you know you won’t even dip a toe in the freezing Pacific Ocean, Parks Canada is urging everyone to take a moment to become ‘Coast Smart’ before visiting the shores of Tofino and Ucluelet,” the statement reads.

Anyone planning a visit to the iconic area can visit CoastSmart.ca, a website made by the national park and the districts of Tofino and Ucluelet and includes ocean safety information.

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