Dozens gather in Raleigh to educate people about water safety

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Thursday, June 21, 2018
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Raleigh pool attempts world record for largest swim lesson

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- According to USA Swimming, there were 10 drowning deaths in North Carolina in 2016 for children younger than 15.

Furthermore, figures from the World Health Organization show an estimated 360,000 drowning deaths worldwide each year.

Around 80 percent of the drownings are males.

On Thursday afternoon, nearly 75 people took part in an effort to educate people about water safety. The Optimist Pool played host to Raleigh's role in a Guinness world record attempt for world's largest swim lesson.

Over 20 countries from around the world participated in a 24-hour attempt to hold swim lessons on June 21.

"I want to get ready," said eight-year-old Tre Doss. "I don't want to just be there watching (my friends) swimming and I'm just sitting there, doing nothing."

Organizers for Raleigh's event said the Army Corps of Engineers partnered with staff at Optimist to pass out water safety tips and other educational material to participants.

Kathryn Andriotis brought her sons, Jagger and Zoltan, to Thursday's event to get in an extra, free swim lesson.

"My six-year-old is a lot more scared of the water, so it's taking a while to get him warmed up to it," Andriotis said. "But my five-year-old is basically a fish," she added. "He loves being in the water any chance he can get. It's important to learn about safety in the water. So, supporting your kids through swim lessons is really important."

"If we don't know how to swim, we might drown. So we need to know how to swim," said six-year-old Ajani Doss. "I'm still getting a little used to swimming because I haven't been swimming in a long time."