08/24/2012 03:55 EDT | Updated 10/24/2012 05:12 EDT

Coroners service urges caution as drownings up by more than 50 per cent

VICTORIA - The B.C. Coroners Service is urging people to be cautious around lakes, rivers and ocean coastlines because drownings are up by more than 50 per cent this summer compared to 2011.

Coroner Barb McLintock says 34 people drowned in recreational incidents between July 1 and Aug. 21.

There were 22 drownings during July and August last year.

In 2010, 24 people died during the two months.

McLintock says seven people died this year while swimming while others fell into the water unexpectedly or were boating, tubing or attempting to cliff-dive.

She says better safety measures could have prevented some of the deaths during a year that has seen higher-than-usual water levels.