About Us

The Lifesaving Society - Canada's lifeguarding expert - is a full-service provider of programs, products and services designed to prevent drowning. We prevent drowning and water-related injury through our training programs, Water Smart® public education, aquatic safety management services, drowning research and lifesaving sport.

Working to prevent drowning

We are a national, volunteer organization and registered charity composed of 10 provincial / territorial branches, tens of thousands of individual members, and over 4,000 affiliated swimming pools, waterfronts, schools and clubs. We are a leader and partner in the delivery of water safety education throughout Canada and around the world. The Society operates globally in over 25 countries. We represent Canada internationally in the Commonwealth Royal Life Saving Society and we are Canada's Full Member in the International Life Saving Federation. The World Health Organization recognizes ILS as the world authority in the global effort to prevent drowning. The Lifesaving Society takes lead responsibility for drowning prevention in Canada.

We have been teaching water safety and water rescue in Canada since 1896. Established in England (1891) as The Swimmers' Life Saving Society, we became The Royal Life Saving Society in 1904. Today, we're known as simply the Lifesaving Society.

Teaching Canadians to save themselves and others

Most drownings occur in unsupervised settings. Which is why more Canadians need the lifesaving skills to save themselves or others in an aquatic emergency.

Annually, 1,000,000 Canadians participate in Lifesaving Society swimming, lifesaving, lifeguard, first aid and leadership training programs. Each year, we certify thousands of instructors who provide the leadership for those training programs. Over 30,000 Canadians earn our Bronze Medallion each year. As Canada's lifeguarding experts, we set the standard for professional lifeguard training and certify Canada's National Lifeguards.

Drowning research

The Lifesaving Society conducts research into fatal and non-fatal drowning, aquatic injury and rescue interventions. Ongoing research and analysis supports the Society's evidence-based water-rescue training and Water Smart education.

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Water Smart® public education

Our drowning research enables us to focus on people most at risk - like men fishing in small boats - or on those who can make a significant difference, such as parents of young children. We deliver Water Smart messages through our swim program, through the media and through various community action channels. Our Swim to Survive® program provides the essential minimum skills required to survive an unexpected fall into deep water.

Setting the standard

The Lifesaving Society establishes aquatic safety standards and consults on aquatic safety issues for the aquatic industry, governments and the judiciary. The Society offers a suite of services to help aquatic facility operators maintain and improve safe pool and waterfront operations. We perform aquatic safety audits and serve as experts in legal cases involving aquatic safety.

Lifesaving sport

The Lifesaving Society is the Canadian governing body for lifesaving sport - a sport recognized by the International Olympic Committee and the Commonwealth Games Federation. The Society organizes annual championships for age-group, senior and masters athletes and coordinates Canada's National Lifesaving Team participation in international competition.