Water Safety

Saskatchewan drownings


The Aug. 15, 1933 newspaper covered the story; Three city children drown in river. “Young girls die trying to save 6-year old boy. Janet Derkson, 14, Rita Hope, 10 and brother Jimmy, lose lives at Sutherland Beach; Raymond Gracewood attempts rescue.” The three children three children from two families were residents who lived in the old University Heights area (south of the CPR, in what is now Innovation Place) according to Jeff O’Brien at City archives.
The children were very used to the route, having walked on the shore trails with the father of Reta and Jimmy Hope quite often. At this time, the youth went out on their own, and went into the river water at a different location. The youngest, Jimmy was caught up in a pothole from which he could not get out. His sister, Reta went to his rescue, and was also trapped. Hearing their calls, Raymond Gracewood swam out and grabbed hold of both children. Jimmy and Reta spied Janet Derkson, also coming to help them out, and pulled away from Raymond’s grasp to reach out to Janet. Though Janet tried her best to swim out to them, she sank. This happened during the summer months, Janet Derkson was to start grade 6 that fall, Reta Hope to begin grade 5, her little brother was to start school in September.

Though all the children were originally buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in an unmarked pauper’s grave. There was a huge public outcry, upon which the city donated a regular plot and the Rotary Club purchased a headstone. The family held a vigil a few years ago, and re-dedicated the memorial.

In June of 2001, another tragedy took the life of a six year old boy who fell into the cold spring waters off the Victoria Park river dock. June 2016, saw two eight year old boys narrowly escape tragedy. The mother of one of the lads, jumped in to his rescue, and downstream, a fisherman, swam out to the rescue of the other carried away by the river.

Traveling to this year, the Saskatoon Services Fire Department were called out 13 times for rescues at the South Saskatchewan River, impressing the need to be careful around the river in both winter and summer seasons.

Though the fatalities mentioned here were children, the majority of drownings in Saskatchewan were aged 20-24 and those between 70-74. 13% of our young adult population aged 20-24 have fallen to tragic ends drowning, which works out to about 3.5 young adults out of 100,000. Water bodies such as lakes, rivers and streams take the largest numbers of victims. Young children loose their lives most commonly in pools, and bathtubs. Though lives are lost all year around, most drownings occur June July and August partaking in swimming, fishing, water activities, boating or snowmobiling.

Bylaw No. 4433 is a “bylaw of The City of Saskatoon to prohibit swimming in the South Saskatchewan River and to require water skiers to wear life jackets.” The South Saskatchewan River is subject to a strong current, fluctuating water levels, and shifting sand bars. Though there is no bylaw against wading the shallow waters of the shoreline, it is very important to be aware the river is cut by deep, fast flowing channels. These channels can readily be seen only from the high river banks with a clear sight to the river waters. Therefore, wading in the river and getting into deep waters, the same dangers will be present as for swimmers. Sandbars, provide a false sense of security, as the swiftly flowing waters can create unstable shoreline edges of the sandbar creating risk.

An ambulance paramedic stated that, “The banks become very unstable when we have lots of water moving through. All you need is for that undercurrent to grab hold of the bank, and …down your’e going to go, into the river…and that may not be a very pleasant situation for anybody.”

Lifeline states that “it is a misconception that you’re safe if you’re larger than a body of water. You can drown in just a couple of inches of water.” “Most drownings are preventable.”

Whenever you, your family, your pet are taking in the water, take care, and be cautious of the South Saskatchewan River. Saskatchewan, the provincial title honours the Cree word kisiskâciwan, describing the “fast-flowing” Saskatchewan River or the “Swift Current” of the river. Around  wetlands, or any depth of water, be cautious.

“When the trees go, the rain goes, the climate deteriorates, the water table sinks, the land erodes and desert conditions soon appear”.~Richard St. Barbe Baker

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
6 year old boy drowns while playing near river. Cobalt daily Nugget. June 4, 2001.

Hill, Andrea. Saskatchewan father drowns after saving 10-year-old son from sinking truck. National Post. July 15, 2014.

Saskatoon police say no crackdown on swimming in river. Swimming the South Saskatchewan is dangerous, officials say. CBC news June 9, 2015.

Saskatchewan communites brace for more flooding. CTV news.

Sask Drowning Report

South Saskatchewan River Jordon Cooper.

They recognize that while knowledge about nature is vital; passion is the long-distance fuel for the struggle to save what is left of our natural heritage and ~ through an emerging green urbanism ~ to reconstitute lost land and water. Passion does not arrive on videotape or on a CD; passion is personal. Passion is lifted from the earth itself by the muddy hands of the young; it travels along grass-stained sleeves to the heart. If we are going to save environmentalism and the environment, we must also save an endangered indicator species: the child in nature. Louv. 2005. p. 158

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com

Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map

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Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

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If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
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The Tick

How much more deeply are we moved as we begin to appreciate the combined operations of the assembly of trees we call a forest.~Richard St. Barbe Baker

A teeming life goes on in the forest without any of the problems that confront mankind in similar circumstances. There are no dustbins, no water-borne sewage, no town clerks or city councilors or armies of officials, with more and more rates to pay, no ever-growing burden of debt.

The forest solves its own sanitary problems by direct action while man evades them. The forest has been described as the perfect sanitarian, the supreme chemist. In its economy it perfectly combines Capitalism, Communism and Social Credit and instead of building up a burden of debt it stores up real wealth of the woods.~Richard St. Barbe Baker

Your pet may travel outdoors, and bring home ticks attached to them. If it is the beginning of the tick season, ie early spring around Easter, the ticks are small. These ticks will take a blood meal, drop off the host animal, and enlarge in size. Next time they attach to a host animal, it is probably a larger species, and again the now larger tick will take a blood meal. The tick will either stay on the host animal and breed, or drop off and begin again to find another host animal.

When a tick lays eggs, there are several thousands of eggs, which then hatch, and feed on the host animal. Or the eggs may drop off infesting the new locality.

One method to keep your home and yard safer is to sprinkle diatomaceous earth (de). “Diatomaceous earth is composed of tiny organisms known as diatoms which have the ability to lacerate the exoskeletons of various types of insects and kill them through dehydration.How” “Make sure you buy food grade diatomaceous earth, NOT the pool filter grade which is heat and chemically treated and is TOXIC if ingested.Food” Food grade de is non toxic to humans and pets. One way to subvert a tick infestation in your living environment. Within 2-3 weeks the tick problem should be eradicated at your home. In this era of climate warming, and phenology changes be knowledgeable in the application of diatomaceous earth outside as it effects a number of insects. Use of diatomaceous earth outdoors is defeated with a rain storm, and a re-application is needed.

Sprinkling your shoes, socks and pants with diatomaceous earth is another way to protect yourself from ticks. Likewise sprinkling your pets will serve to be a natural tick repellent, it will dry out their skin also, so apply it in a fine layer only using an applicator such as a salt or sugar shaker filled with diatomaceous earth. “Diatomaceous Earth is very useful as a detox solution, digestive aid and colon cleanser. For dogs, use one tablespoon per day of food grade Diatomaceous Earth in his food for dogs over 55 lbs. and one teaspoon per day for small dogs and puppies.benefits For the human diet diatomaceous earth “(1) helps move things out of your intestines and (2) helps promote healthier hair, skin, bones, and joints.” The silica content in diatomaceous earth will help the body absorb calcium, and enrich skin collagen, bones, nails and hair. For pets and their owners, diatomaceous earth has been recommended for colon cleansing, parasite control, and as a form of detox.

“You should treat your dog’s bedding with diatomaceous earth twice a week, leaving it for about 3 days. Repeat this process whenever your dog spends time in the woods, tall grasses, or around rodents.  Insect infestations are usually eradicted in 2-3 weeks.

One possible reason for tick population surge, is phenology. Insect life cycles react to “degree days” local daily sun and moon cycles reacting with great rapidity to climate change and milder winters. Bird life cycles rely on the amount of available sunlight seen to change in seasonal monthly and earth rotational cycles. If migrating birds arrive in the northern hemisphere too late to feast on small grubs and insect larvae. It is known that bird migratory patterns are changing, so “bird migration, breeding, and nesting are timed every spring to coincide with the peak availability of critical food sources.<a href="Wildlife.org” Until these phenological cycles balance, the populations of insects are on the rise, and populations of birds are declining. For those who are trying to control tick populations on acreages and large land areas, the Guineafowl or poultry may come in handy.

For people walking in long grass or in woodlands, a precaution is to carry a tweezer or “tick twister” on the walk and wear light coloured clothing, tucking pants into socks, and shirts into waistbands. The light coloured clothing helps to sight ticks on their slow journey upwards. Tucking in your clothing thus keeps the ticks on top of the clothing, and not underneath on your skin. People who are not using the non-toxic natural remedy of diatomaceous earth those folks can spray with an insect repellent containing deet. When you arrive home, pop into the shower, to wash off any ticks unseen and unspotted. Throw your clothing directly into the washing machine, so any undetected ticks do not end up infesting the household.  Don’t wander around “blindly”, but arm yourself with a bit of knowledge to have a safe walk with your four-legged friend.

For your pet, fill up a child’s wading pool in your yard when the weather is warmer. Then go for a walk with your dog. When you arrive back home, the sun will have warmed the chilly water from the hose. It will be easier to pop your dog into the warmer water of the wading pool outdoors, and this quick bath may rid your pet of any ticks your eyes have missed. The slicking down of the fur in the water may also help to reveal the missed ticks.

Dogs which have been out and about in a tick area should be immediately checked for ticks when leaving the site. Using tweezers or a “tick-twister” remove the tick without placing a lot of pressure on the tick body. With tweezers, secure the tweezer ends at the tick mouth where the tick has entered the skin and pull straight up and out. To keep your pet safe, walk on mowed paths, dirt, asphalt, concrete or wooden walkways.  Avoiding long grass and shrubbery will help your pets not arrive home with ticks.

Pets can also be treated with any number of over the counter “tick ointments and sprays.”  Many products are applied to the back of the neck with an effectiveness of about 21 days, being strongest in efficacy at the beginning, and waning towards the end of the treatment cycle.  These applications may help your dog from infestation, however on personal experience, attending to ticks on your pets with a tweezer or “tick twister” is the most effective method.  Relying on tick products may still reveal tick eggs and fully mature ticks burrowed into your pet even with tick applications.  Tick ointments also become diluted and less effective when your pet gets wet, ie a dog shower or bath, or an outdoor swim.  However, don’t reapply tick applications without your vet’s knowledge, as the dog’s immune system can usually handle one application every 21 days, as the application is mildly toxic to your pets as well as containing poisonouse substances to the tick.

If you are bitten, record the date, keep the tick on hand in a sealed bottle and take a picture of it. Watch for a “bull’s eye” rash, one of the early warning signs for Lyme disease. With early medical intervention, serious bodily reaction to the tick bite can be averted.

In Saskatoon, food grade diatomaceous earth can be purchased from a store such as Early’s seed and feed. Be safe, arm yourself with knowledge. If you walk in the grasslands or in the woods where ticks may be present, take precautions for yourself and your pet.

We stand in awe and wonder at the beauty of a single tree. Tall and graceful it stands, yet robust and sinewy with spreading arms decked with foliage that changes through the seasons, hour by hour, moment by moment as shadows pass or sunshine dapples the leaves. How much more deeply are we moved as we begin to appreciate the combined operations of the assembly of trees we call a forest.~Richard St. Barbe Baker

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Becker, Dr. Tea Tree Oil Great for your cuts, but use with caution on pets

How to kill fleas and ticks with Diatomaceous Earth

Kill bugs with diatomaceous earth Lifehacker.com

Food grade diatomaceous earth for flea and tick treatment. Wolf Creek Ranch.

Gauthier, Kimberly Using Diatomaceous Earth for Natural flea and tick control Pet 360

Pleasant, Barbara. Tick Prevention and Management.
How to safely remove ticks A Mother’s Heritage.
Natural Tick Control For Your Home

Roberts, Kevin. Tick Talk: Do all Natural DIY Tick Repellents really work? May 26, 2015. Petguide.com

Scott, Dana The Benefits Of Diatomaceous Earth For Dogs Dogs Naturally Magazine.

The Effectiveness of Diatomaceous earth Insect list

Tudor, Ken Dr. Is Tea Tree Oil Safe for Pets? PetMd.

Winter, Catherine. DIY Homemade Insect Repellent Sprays and Lotions

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Off leash dog park Valley Road Saskatoon!
If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Pinterest richardstbarbeb