Swimming Canada’s new rules regarding minimum dive depth standards came into effect and now the national review of municipal aquatic facilities begins. The rules, which took effect as of September 1st, are a result of teen Miranda Biletski’s incident from 2005 where the Regina Piranhas Summer Swim Club swimmer struck her head and shattered a vertebrae when diving off of starting blocks into four feet of water. She is now confined to a wheelchair, and was a 2016 Paralympian in wheelchair rugby.
In late 2017, the University of Regina was deemed negligent by a jury, while Biletski and the Piranhas Swim Club were deemed not at fault in the accident. ‘The jury awarded Biletski more than $9 million for damages, residence modifications, care items, loss of future earnings and loss of marriage/interdependence benefits.’ (CBC)
At the time of Biletski’s dive, the pool was 1.22 meters (~3.94 feet) deep, which was in line with the international standards. However, the International Swimming Federation now requires a minimum depth of 1.35m (~4.43 feet) when swimmers dive from blocks. Swim Canada only enforces that depth for new pools built after 2002.
The City of Calgary has imposed a temporary ban on diving from starting blocks at municipal pools while the national review is underway. Swimmers at these 11 facilities are allowed to dive from the pool deck instead of blocks, provided the pools are at least 1.2m (3.94 feet) deep for this purpose. The review is scheduled to wrap up in February. (CBC)