Coroner Normandin’s recommendations

  Press release

For immediate release









Coroner Normandin’s recommendations


Montreal, November 28 2018 – The Lifesaving Society attended the press conference concerning the investigation report of Coroner Louis Normandin linked to the drowning of Blessing Claude Moukoko, 14 years old, which took place on February 15, 2018, at the Père Marquette Center.

 As a response to this incident, coroner Louis Normandin has issued an investigation report suggesting various recommendations to avoid preventable drowning. The Lifesaving Society welcomes the coroner’s recommendations and is available for any follow up thereof by partners of the aquatic community.

In his report, the Coroner recommends that the Lifesaving Society’s Swim to Survive Plus program be formally implemented by the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur into swimming classes in school environments. According to him, successfully completing this program should be a mandatory prerequisite before beginning courses in swimming competency. He also recommends that the minimum requirements for teaching swimming in a school environment by a teacher should be to have completed 90 hours of training as part of a Bachelor’s in Education. Coroner Normandin does not recommend suspending swimming courses in school environments, but he advocates for safe supervision. If the class is taught by an instructor, they must imperatively hold the required certification. Moreover, Coroner Normandin maintains that a swimming class in a school environment be constantly supervised both by a teacher teaching the class and a lifeguard whose role is only to supervise the group. Failure to meet these two conditions, the coroner recommends suspending swimming classes in a school environment.

“Even more so with the recommendations of Coroner Louis Normandin, the Lifesaving Society continues to strongly suggest that school boards and schools should implement the Swim to Survive (elementary) and Swim to Survive Plus (secondary) programs to evaluate the aquatic abilities of each child and to teach them the required basic techniques to survive an unexpected fall into deep water. There is a difference between knowing how to bathe and knowing how to swim” says Raynald Hawkins, Executive Director of the Lifesaving Society.

In tandem with the World Health Organisation, the Lifesaving Society’s stance is that initiating school-age children to the basics of swimming is essential to avoid any unfortunate incident. It therefore encourages the development of aquatic abilities in a supervised and safe environment by supporting swimming classes in a school environment.

About the Swim to Survive program

The main objectives of the Swim to Survive program are to assess each child’s aquatic skills and to teach them the basic skills they need to survive an unexpected fall into deep water.

The Swim to Survive program, created by the Lifesaving Society to prevent drowning, has been designed as an educative and active field trip. In addition to playing a key role in drowning prevention, the program gets the kids to move and gain self-confidence, and encourages them to visit aquatic facilities on a more regular basis. The Swim to Survive program is offered to 8+ year old students (third grade in elementary school and up).

For more information on the program or to watch the description video:

About the Lifesaving Society

The Lifesaving Society is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote safe interactions with water to prevent drowning and other injuries by being recognized as an essential partner for prevention. The Lifesaving Society, for over a century, has multiplied its efforts in order to prevent drowning and related injuries. To this end, this non-profit organization deploys eight programs whose aim is to train the population under different angles. These programs – Lifesaving, Prevention, Boating, Rescue, Expert-advice, Philanthropy, Lifesaving Sport and National Drowning Prevention Week – are complementary and relate to the overall population. The Lifesaving Society is comprised of over 30,000 individual members, 300 training centre members throughout Quebec, 300 volunteers and 22 employees.


- 30 -


 Source : Anne-Marie Francoeur

               Communication and PR

               Lifesaving Society –Quebec Branch

               Telephone : 514-435-5342

                Fax : 514 254-6232

                Email :