A 21-year-old man is in hospital after being found unconscious in an outdoor municipal pool in Montreal’s Anjou borough early Monday morning.
Montreal police (SPVM) says it received a 911 call at 3:25 a.m. about an incident at Roger-Rousseau Park, at the intersection of Châteauneuf Boulevard and Rondeau Avenue.
“When police officers arrived onsite, they jumped into the water to rescue the victim and started CPR,” explains Mariane Allaire Morin, a spokesperson with Montreal police.
Police added that he was with a 22-year-old woman at the time, and that they possibly jumped the fence to enter the pool, which was closed.
The man was transported to hospital in critical condition and officers say they fear for his life.
Quebec Lifesaving Society president Raynald Hawkins said his organization is working with the city to include nighttime surveilance of municipal pools.
“I think we need to work on education,” he said.
Monday morning’s incident comes just over a year after a 13-year-old boy drowned in the Maisonneuve Pool in Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve after he entered the pool after hours. That pool also had a secure fence surrounding the premise.
Hawkins is quick to stress water safety, particularly after a weekend that saw four people lose their lives in various bodies of water.
People need, he said, to learn how to swim.
“Based on the information data we’ve had in the last three days, they were non-swimmers,” he said.
The Lifesaving Society wants swimming lessons incorporated into the school curriculum.
This year, 36 people drowned in the province, which is down from 40 at the same time last year. The drownings come as the province deals with a shortage of lifeguards due to training being halted during the pandemic.
Hawkins has a simple message for those wanting to jump into water after hours.
“When the pool is closed, please don’t go there,” he said. “It’s not appropriate to try to have swimming activities at midnight.”