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Group swim lesson in Delray Beach aims to prevent children from drowning

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jun 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-22 18:17:46-04

Safety leaders preach swimming lessons can prevent your loved one from drowning. So children filled pools in Delray Beach and across the world for one big swim lesson Thursday.

Nearly 130 children left their comfortable spots on the side of Pompey Park’s pool to try swimming.

“At first he was a little nervous,” Kim Dort described her son’s first swim lesson earlier this month.

The Delray Beach mother signed her 5-year-old up for lessons after a friend told her about a drowning in Delray Beach a few years ago that took the lives of two boys.

“She was telling me, ‘If your boys don’t know how to swim, you need to take them.’ I was like, ‘Yes this summer,’” Dort recounted.

It’s great advice, especially if you ask the adults in the water at Pompey Park. Thursday lifeguards, firefighters and police officers spent time teaching so there’s no need to rescue.

“The worst calls are the kind of calls that should never happen. A child drowning is a call that should never happen,” explained Capt. Kevin Saxton with Delray Beach Fire Rescue.

Statistics from Palm Beach County show 56 people drowned in the county in 2015.

“Drowning deaths are one of the leading causes of death for children under the age of five in the state of Florida,” Sam Metott, Delray Beach’s assistant director of Parks and Recreation pointed out. “So for every kid we teach to swim, it’s potentially saving a life.”

With all the children around her getting their first taste of swim lessons, Kim has something to admit: she’s never had a swim lesson herself.

“I’ll be next,” she promised.

Instructors said swimming is a skill Kim and others will use their entire lives.