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Toddler nearly drowns in Cultus Lake

VANCOUVER – A young boy has been hospitalized after falling into Cultus Lake earlier this week.

The three-year-old’s relatives told CTV News he was riding his bike near the lake when he somehow ended up in the water.

They said his mother spotted him in the lake, diving in to rescue him.

CTV News has decided not to identify the boy.

BC Emergency Health Services confirmed paramedics were called to Cultus Lake on Thursday at 6:35 p.m. and airlifted a patient to hospital in serious condition.

Lifesaving Society of BC and Yukon, a charity aimed at preventing drowning deaths, found children under five years old are at high risk of drowning.

“This is not happening in supervised lifeguard areas. This is happening in backyard pools, bathtubs and open bodies of water. The number one thing that we want to make sure that we always say is supervision is key. Assign a designated water watcher, somebody that knows where the water is and where the children are at all times,” said Kimiko Hirakida, education manager with the society.

Hirakida said it is also important to limit distractions when supervising, such as cell phones, pets and other children.

She also recommends both the adult and child wear a life jacket near water, adding the child should always be within an arm’s reach away.

“Drowning can happen in seconds and in as little as a couple inches, a couple centimeters of water. So a parent needs to be there or a guardian needs to be there right away to make sure that they're accessible to their child to pull them out of harm's way,” she said.

As summer approaches and people go to new destinations, she encourages people to do an inspection to see what and where the water is.

“Are there ditches? Are there little moats that you need to be aware of? Is there a pond? All of these things can draw children to it; they're just naturally drawn to water,” Hirakida explained.

So far this year, six people have drowned in B.C., according to the society. Top Stories

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