During an announcement Thursday, Environment and Climate Change Minister Tracy Schmidt encouraged Manitobans to hit the beaches this summer but do it safely.

“Manitoba has so many beautiful beaches and lakes, offering Manitobans many opportunities to swim, soak their feet, and enjoy the water. We encourage all Manitobans to be vigilant in and around the water,” said Schmidt. 

The Manitoba government urged everyone, especially boaters, children and weak swimmers, to wear a life-jacket when participating in water-related activities. Additionally, Schmidt noted that everyone should know their limits and only swim at a safe distance.  

The minister emphasized the significance of the Life-jacket Loaner program in her announcement. This program, allows visitors to borrow life-jackets, a crucial safety measure that can save lives. The province also launched the addition of a new station at Hecla (Gull Harbour) in 2024. 

Other life-jacket loaner stations within provincial park beaches include: 

  • Bakers Narrows; 
  • Birds Hill; 
  • Clearwater (Campers Cove); 
  • Grass River (Gyles and Iskwasum lakes); 
  • Paint Lake; 
  • Manipogo; 
  • Moose Lake; 
  • Rainbow Beach; 
  • St. Malo (Main and Sunset Shores beach); 
  • Spruce Woods; and 
  • Stephenfield. 

According to the provincial government, beach safety officers are stationed at three provincial park beaches: Birds Hill, Grand Beach (West Beach) and Winnipeg Beach.

The minister said that the Manitoba government will provide beach safety officer services at these three beaches through 2028, with $7.4 million in funding. 

While beach safety officers provide public education, emergency response and first aid services, parents and guardians need to be water-smart and always supervise children on beaches.