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Rescue '86 Competition Coordinator Dr. Steve Beerman chats with Head Referee Warren Rennie of Australia on Kits Beach.

From the Archives

Where were you 30 years ago?

May 2016 marks 30 years since the BC & Yukon Branch of the Lifesaving Society hosted Rescue ’86, the first-ever international lifeguard competition and aquatic conference.  It took place in Vancouver May 12 to 17 as part of Search & Rescue Week at Expo ’86. The infamous social events included an International Night at the UBC Thunderbird Sports Centre and a harbour boat cruise on the MV Britannia.  The closing banquet, known as West Coast Night, featured a salmon barbeque & logger show with a highlight of the socials being a semi-trailer load of a popular Aussie brew.

The conference was held at UBC with four topic themes being Aquatic Management, The World of Aquatics, Ocean and Fresh Water Rescue and Drowning.  Over 75 presentations were provided by experts from throughout the world with Canadian speakers including Stan Anderson, Dale Bayley, Leslie Dunning, Robbie Giles, Judy Kent, Nestor Korchinsky, Marlin Moore, Jocelyn Palm and Bill Walker of Mustang Survival.  Topics ranged from ‘New Life for Old Pools’ to ‘Alcohol and Drowning.’

Canadian Olympic Gold Medal winner Alex Baumann issued a challenge to competitors and delegates throughout the world to “exchange ideas, information and research to help advance aquatics and lifesaving in every nation.”
Competition events took place at the UBC Aquatic Centre as well as Vancouver beaches where hypothermia was a major factor in competitors’ results.  Canadians made up 22 of the 36 teams who competed with 8 from Australia and others from China, Japan, United Kingdom and the US.

The Championship winning team was Warringah from Australia but placing a close second just one point behind was the Western Vancouver Beaches team (Diane Anderchuck, Tim Gale, Darcy Hamilton, Craig Jacks, Liz Koersen, Mark Lawrence, Ian Robertson and David Virlee), followed by Eastern Vancouver Beaches in third place (Geoff Grover, Bruce Honeyman, John Melnicow, Gary Parsons, Stan Schibler, Linda Speed, Sheila Taylor and Tony Vanburen).
Expressive Past President (1994 – 1996) Ron Aubrey at Rescue ’86 Conference exhibitor area.
Rescue ’86 was a major milestone in the history of the BC & Yukon Branch thanks to the staff and volunteers of the day.  When recently bidding (successfully!) to host the 2017 World Conference on Drowning Prevention (WCDP) in Vancouver, the positive legacy of hosting Rescue ’86 was raised as being in Lifesaving Society Canada’s favour to host another major international event.

If you are looking to volunteer at WCDP 2017 in Vancouver (Oct. 17 to 19), e-mail  There is also a great opportunity to assist in supporting attendance of delegates from low and middle income countries where drowning is a major cause of unintentional death.  Get together with a group or donate on your own to a scholarship to help those delegates attend the conference and learn more about preventing drowning in their home country.


Team BC Wins Club Championship Title at CLERC 2016

The Canadian Lifeguard Emergency Response Championship (CLERC) was held on Saturday April 30 and Sunday May 1 at Guildford Recreation Centre in Surrey and was a huge success!

CLERC brought together 16 teams from across the country, including 8 from BC, to compete in the only sport whose skills are first learned for humanitarian purposes.

Through lifesaving sport, the Society seeks to engage and inspire youth in our drowning prevention mission and to provide athletes, coaches and officials an opportunity for participation at all levels from developmental to high performance.

Congratulations to 2016 CLERC Club Champions Team BC for their big win! Comprised of 3 teams, Sr Resuscitation, The Fantastic 4 and Saucy Savages, Team BC (pictured above) accumulated the highest total points in all three events.

Aquam-Aqarius (pictured below) from Quebec was the top scoring individual team at CLERC 2016.
It takes numerous volunteers and sponsors to put on this one-of-a-kind event. The Branch is very appreciative of the incredible CLERC host City of Surrey as well as the planning committee and key officials. Without their hard work, passion and dedication to Lifesaving Sport this event would not have been possible.

We also very much appreciate support and guidance from the National Sport Commission and representatives Rebecca Boyd, Perry Smith and Adrian Cossu who travelled from Ontario to oversee the event.

Thanks also go to event sponsors City of Surrey, Team Aquatic Supplies, Guildford Mall and CUPE402 for helping to make this event possible.

Visit our Facebook page to view all of the incredible event photos and click here to check out the complete results.
(Pictured above are several volunteer CLERC officials: Top Row L-R Adrian Cossu, Rebecca Boyd, Nicole Cooper, Veronica Grusnick, Renee Kelly, Candice TownSchon, Kim TownSchon, Perry Smith, Tia Town-Schon, Helen Laycock. Bottom Row L-R Tammy Savard, Jennifer Farrell, Caroline Laycock and Rachelle Herron)
Is there an exciting lifesaving program or initiative happening at your facility or in your community? If so, we would love to feature it in an upcoming edition of the Lifeliner. Contact Krystyna Domes for more information.

Public Education

Meet the 2016 WaterWise Team

The BC & Yukon Branch of the Lifesaving Society is pleased to be kicking off the 17th year of the WaterWise Team by introducing this year's Team Members, Sienna and Lindsay.

This is Lindsay’s first summer with the WaterWise Team! She loves being in and around the water, especially when accompanied by the sun and a salty breeze. She spends her summers on the waterfront including her most recent adventures in Europe where she swam in the North Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea and several fresh water lakes!

As a lifeguard and swim instructor for four years and counting, Lindsay is familiar with and passionate about water safety and the importance of learning these skills. She is currently working towards her Kinesiology degree and hopes to implement interactive teaching approaches into the water safety awareness program. 

Sienna is back this year for another WaterWise season and her fourth summer with the Lifesaving Society!  An avid, experienced swimmer and mermaid, Sienna has an extensive background working in aquatics as a lifeguard, swim instructor and first aid instructor.

She is currently working towards her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and loves spending time in and around the water. Sienna has worked hard throughout the year to develop the WaterWise Team program and is eager to promote the importance of boat and water safety this summer!

If you are interested in having the WaterWise Team present or set up a booth at your event or facility, please contact them at You can also find the Team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @WaterWiseTeam. Connect with them to learn more about safety on a boat and around the water this summer.

Public Education

'Get Informed and Go Outdoors!' AdventureSmart Returns to the Lifesaving Society

The British Columbia Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA) and the BC & Yukon Branch of the Lifesaving Society have collaborated to provide additional support for AdventureSmart in British Columbia.

As part of the $10 million funding to BCSARA from the Province of BC, this contract will see a return of the coordination and AdventureSmart outreach teams in BC that were so successful from 2004 to 2008 in delivering the ‘Get Informed and Go Outdoors’ messaging in schools, at public events and to organizations.
Sandra Riches returns as AdventureSmart Coordinator with the Lifesaving Society having been a key player in the development of the program as a volunteer coordinator and trainer for the past 8 years.

Dale Miller, Executive Director, states "The Lifesaving Society is very pleased to again partner with BCSARA in our collective efforts to ensure British Columbians have the knowledge to enjoy our great outdoors safely and without incident.”

This support is additional to the incredible dedication of many Search and Rescue volunteers throughout Canada who deliver AdventureSmart presentations through the Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada (SARVAC) in partnership with the National Search and Rescue Secretariat (NSS). Chris Kelly, President of BCSARA, says "BCSARA recognizes the urgency of providing additional resources to provide safety messaging to the public to reduce the growing number of incidents requiring response by SAR volunteers and agencies."

AdventureSmart was created in British Columbia in 2004 as a New Initiatives Fund (NIF) project, with further support from the Province of BC through Emergency Management BC. The messaging and programs under AdventureSmart were so successful it became national in 2009, and was transferred to the NSS in 2013 with delivery through SARVAC and other partners.

For more information on AdventureSmart go to .

Safety Management

Safety Standards Commission

BC & Yukon Branch hosted the National Safety Standards Commission annual workshop on April 20 and 21.  During the two days of meetings the Commission worked on standards related to swing ropes, operator training, safety equipment including AEDs, minimum diving depths and a number of other standards.  The Commission also ventured out to Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre in South Surrey for a tour of this wonderful new facility.
The National Safety Standards Commission has a monthly teleconference and an annual 2 day workshop.  The goal of the Commission is to develop national pool safety standards to help support aquatic facilities across Canada in ensuring safety for bathers and staff.  BC and Yukon is represented on the Commission by David Rose.  For more information please contact him at


Competition Season is Right Around the Corner

National events may be over but the competition season in BC is just getting started! The Barnsley Branch Championship is taking place this year at Saanich Commonwealth Place on August 19 & 20. Apply now to become a Barnsley Key Official. Application deadline is May 23.

Local competitions are a great opportunity to get involved in Lifesaving Sport as a judge, volunteer or competitor. Check out the dates below and get involved!

July 2 
Panorama Recreation Centre in Saanich

July 9  
City Centre Aquatic Complex in Coquitlam

July 23
Surrey (Tentative)

August 13
Walnut Grove Community Centre in Langley

August 19 & 20 - Barnsley Branch Lifeguard Championship,
Saanich Commonwealth Place in Saanich


A special message from our Patron,    
HM Queen Elizabeth II

On April 21st 2016, our Patron, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 90th birthday.

We love this photo of Princess Elizabeth at the age of 13, proudly displaying her RLSS Life Saving Medal! 

We are delighted and honoured to have received the following message of support from our Patron, Her Majesty The Queen in honour of the Royal Life Saving Society's 125th Anniversary. 

(Source )


Calendar of Events

Ready, Set, Wear It Event at Vanier Park
May 21, 2016 - Vancouver, BC
National Safe Boating Awareness Week
May 21-27, 2016 - Canada and US
Thompson-Okanagan Regional Affiliate Meeting
May 26, 2016 - Vernon, BC

Click Here to RSVP
Kootenay Regional Affiliate Meeting
June 3, 2016 - Creston, BC

Click Here to RSVP
North Island Regional Affiliate Meeting
June 8, 2016 - Nanaimo, BC

Click Here to RSVP
National Drowning Prevention Week (NDPW)
July 17-23, 2016
Canada Wide

80th Annual Barnsley Branch Lifeguard Championship
August 19-20, 2016

Saanich Commonwealth Place, Victoria
ILS World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2017
October 17-19, 2017
Vancouver, British Columbia
Copyright © 2016 Lifesaving Society BC & Yukon, All rights reserved.

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