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More than 50 people gathered at Rock and Roll Island at Water Country USA on Thursday and joined people around the world by spending 30 minutes learning how to swim.
The gathering was part of the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson, which brings together waterparks and pools to teach basic swimming skills. It seeks to cut down on drowning deaths, the second leading cause of unintended, injury-related deaths for children between 1 and 14, according to the group behind the worldwide initiative.
“It fit well with us in terms of our endeavor for water safety,” said Jim Costello, the director of operations at Water Country USA. “We offer swim lessons here locally through water safety instructors trained through American red cross curriculum, so it was a good fit.”
Water safety instructors from the park led the lessons, which involved 56 guests. The instructors touched on several areas of water safety during the lesson.
Costello said this is at least the fourth year the water park has participated in the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson. It will be at least a week before the organizers of the worldwide event know whether they broke the record for the largest swimming lesson in the world.
Water Country USA offers swimming lessons throughout the summer from instructors trained in the American Red Cross curriculum.
“Water safety is of paramount concern,” Costello said.
The park used social media, the in-park announcement system and information printed on park brochures to encourage people to visit Rock and Roll Island for the swim lesson. Some park employees brought family members to participate, too.
Find out more about the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson by clicking here.