Emergency crews have responded to two near drownings at Thetis Lake in less than a week. It’s caught the attention of many in the region, including View Royal Mayor David Screech, who is calling for lifeguards at the popular swimming spot. (Gazette file photo)

Emergency crews have responded to two near drownings at Thetis Lake in less than a week. It’s caught the attention of many in the region, including View Royal Mayor David Screech, who is calling for lifeguards at the popular swimming spot. (Gazette file photo)

View Royal mayor calls for return of lifeguards to Thetis Lake

Two near drownings within a week renew concerns

Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff

Two near drownings within a week has View Royal council renewing the call for lifeguards at Thetis Lake.

In both of those instances, bystanders initiated aid before emergency services arrived.

“There has been a number of serious incidents over the last few years at Thetis Lake,” said View Royal Mayor David Screech. “That lake has certain characteristics that require lifeguards in the summer.”

That led to council passing a motion at the July 4 meeting to ask the Capital Regional District Parks board to station lifeguards at the lake during the summer months.

That reiterates previous requests for lifeguards, which the CRD removed in 2003 due to budgetary constraints, said Screech, who serves as vice-chair on the CRD Parks board.

Screech said he expects the board will consider the motion when they meet in September. “I hope they support it and put the necessary funding in place for next year,” he added.

Mike MacIntyre, operations manager for CRD Parks, said they are not looking at putting lifeguards in parks at this time.

“It’s an ongoing issue that comes up every time there’s an incident at one of our parks,” he said.

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

Thetis LakeView Royal