During summer, lakes and beaches in Manitoba’s provincial parks are popular places for group outings with children. While swimming is a fun activity enjoyed by many, accidents can and do happen. Drowning is a leading cause of death for Manitobans under 19 years of age.
To promote safety on our beaches, Manitoba Parks has instituted a Beach Safety Program to help you and your group enjoy Manitoba’s provincial park beaches as safely as possible. Make sure you follow the guidelines set out in the Beach Safety Program when you are visiting one of Manitoba’s provincial parks.
One of the main causes of water mishaps is lack of supervision. To ensure the health and safety of every child, group outings require careful supervision by responsible adults. The following supervision ratios are recommended:
|Age of Child||Ratio of Supervisors to Children|
|1 – 3 years||1 supervisor for every 1 child|
|4 – 6 years||1 supervisor for every 4 children|
|7 – 10 years||1 supervisor for every 6 children|
|11 – 14 years||1 supervisor for every 8 children|
|15 – 18 years||1 supervisor for every 12 children|
These ratios are dependent on each child’s swimming abilities. If some children can’t swim, more adults are needed to supervise the group. If appropriate ratios cannot be met, the group outing should be cancelled.
Group outings with children pose unique risks and challenges. Whether you attend a staffed or non-staffed beach, following these guidelines will help increase safety for your group:
For more water safety tips, see the Beach Safety for Groups brochure.
Drowning is Preventable!
The three staffed beaches in Manitoba’s provincial parks are Grand Beach, Winnipeg Beach and Birds Hill Park. Swimming and wading are allowed at these beaches and Beach Safety Officers are on duty.
Beach Safety Officers also provide water safety orientation for groups. At the beach, organized groups should report to the Beach Safety Station for water safety tips and information about current beach conditions.
Beach Safety Officers are not lifeguards. They do not supervise the swimming area. You and your group swim at your own risk.
Staffed beaches feature warning flags on the shoreline. A flag on the beach indicates that Beach Safety Officers are on duty. Different coloured flags also communicate information about swimming conditions:
All the remaining beaches in Manitoba’s provincial parks are non-staffed. No Beach Safety Officers are on duty at these beaches.
Both staffed and non-staffed beaches feature a variety of signs to communicate beach safety messages, identify Beach Safety Stations, post beach safety rules and signal hazards.
Other beach safety signs are easily identifiable by the distinctive green border and ‘Beach Safety Program’ identifier. Beach Safety signs are posted in English and French at St. Malo and St. Ambroise provincial parks.
Please Obey all Posted Signs!