Healthy Living in the North

Preventable’s advice: Have a word with yourself!

English Bay statues wearing lifejackets

Vancouver’s statues at English Bay wearing lifejackets for Preventable’s water safety campaign. (Photo borrowed from

Last month, Preventable launched their water safety awareness campaign with oversized lifejackets on the laughing statues in Vancouver. When I saw the promotions for this campaign, I wondered where we could have ‘dressed’ local mascots and statues to draw attention to water safety in communities across Northern B.C.?

The media release for this campaign noted that every year in B.C., at least 60 British Columbians drown. Ninety percent of those who drown while boating do not wear a lifejacket or personal floatation device (PFD).

The Preventable campaign, in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross and BC Hydro, took over Vancouver’s much-loved sculpture “A-maze-ing Laughter” at English Bay. They dressed the sculpture in oversized orange lifejackets and set out a sign beside the display, reminding people to have a word with themselves before they think drowning only happens to other people.

I encourage everyone to check out the Preventable website for great information and thought-provoking discussions that might help you start thinking about the right things before you get out on the water: Are you wearing appropriate safety equipment, including approved personal floatation devices (PFDs)? Are you taking appropriate safety precautions while operating a boat? Or are you ignoring obvious risks by thinking that bad things only happen to “other people?”

The goal is to get us all thinking about risks, consequences and choices we make every day at work, home, at play and on the road. Before you jump into that pool or lake, or climb onto the Jet Ski or boat, and think that drowning only happens to other people, have a word with yourself.

What mascots or statues in Northern B.C. do you think would look great with a lifejacket on?

Denise Foucher

About Denise Foucher

Denise is an injury prevention coordinator with Northern Health’s population health team and is passionate about working towards health and wellness for everyone in Northern B.C. When not at work, Denise can be found out at the lake, walking her dog, planning her next travel adventure, or snuggled in a cozy chair with a good book.



  1. Holly Christian says:

    Wonderful campaign with a great set of messages! I think the Moose and Polar bear statues I’ve seen scattered around would look great with helmets on! ;)