CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. — Grab your swimming suit and head to the pool!
The World’s Largest Swim Lesson is happening Thursday, with swimmers across the world committed to teaching children how to be safer in the water. Centennial Park Pool will be one of four pools to serve as this year’s official hosts.
"Any number of people we get here for the 'World’s Largest Swim Lesson day is a good thing.”
Children and adults at aquatic facilities around the world will unite for the 13th year in a row to spread the word that swimming lessons save lives. A global event, The World’s Largest Swim Lesson, will be taking place over the course of 24 hours at hundreds of aquatic centers, swim schools, and water parks.
"It’s just basic water safety stuff.”
Ryan Fleming is the aquatic coordinator at Centennial Park Pool. With a staff of lifeguards and a swimming community to look over, he knows the significance behind the day.
"We live in the state of Florida, there are bodies of water everywhere so not only learning how to swim is important but knowing how to be safe around it,” says Fleming.
Just last year, a total of 98 children died from drowning in the state of Florida. A record high for the state. The average age was 3 years old. And it's something organizers are saying that can be avoided.
"Ages 1-4, unattended death, the number one cause is drowning," said Fleming. "It’s second for that middle age group and it’s third amongst adolescents.”
Aside from teaching proper swimming techniques, there will also be those providing information on other ways to prevent drowning.
"Alarms, locks, anything that you can put as a barrier to make that pool safer at home because drowning happens fast and it’s silent. So that unsupervised time that kids have around pools and water of any kind, it’s a scary time.”
Something that can be learned at any age, big or small.
"It’s lessons that can be taken from anybody and apply it to anywhere they go.”
The World’s Largest Swim Lesson gets underway at Centennial Park Pool starting at 10 a.m. It will be running until 10:30. Other event times and locations in Charlotte County include:
- South County Regional Park Pool: 10-10:30 a.m.
- Ann and Chuck Dever Regional Park Pool: 10-10:30 a.m.
- Port Charlotte Beach Park Pool: 1-1:30 p.m. and 2-2:30 p.m.