Yi Fan Wang Inquest

Saint John, New Brunswick
May 2013

Yi Fan Wang was a student in Saint John. He was attending the Canada Games Aquatic Centre on September 20, 2011 with several friends. He was taking part in a public swim at the time. The pool was being supervised by three lifeguards- one near the bulkhead, another on the deep end facing the waterslide and another on the diving tower.

Yi Fan was not a strong swimmer. Yi Fan swam in the shallow end of the pool and then he decided to go off the waterslide in the deep end of the 50 m swimming pool. The water in the deep end was approximately 12 feet deep. After going off the waterslide he began to have trouble and quickly sank to the bottom. After some time he was noticed and removed to the deck by a lifeguard. EMS was activated and he was taken to the hospital where he died.

A Coroner's Inquest was called into this drowning. Michael Shane, Safety Management Director attended the Inquest and presented his recommendations. All recommendations were accepted by the Jury and incorporated into their verdict.


Highlights of these recommendations included:

To the Canada Games Aquatic Centre- Saint John

  1. Provide direct supervision of the Tarzan rope and waterslide.
  2. Establish and post in the pool office lifeguard position, scanning zones, and rotation charts for all recreational swim periods.
  3. Enhance lifeguard scanning training.
  4. Create 911 call script checklist.
  5. Establish a bystander intervention care policy.
  6. Enhance waterslide signage.
  7. Promote the completion of the Lifesaving Society Comprehensive Aquatic Safety Audit.
  8. Certify management staff with the Lifesaving Society Aquatic Management Training certification.

To the Lifesaving Society

  1. Revise the Pool and Waterfront Guidelines for New Brunswick, September 2010.
  2. Establish universal signage templates.

As Canada's lifeguarding experts, the Lifesaving Society establishes aquatic safety standards and consults on aquatic safety issues.