OTTAWA, June 14, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Red Cross congratulates
participants from all across Canada who took part in attempting to set
a new Guinness World Record for the World's Largest Swimming Lesson.
Thousands of children and adults gathered in aquatic facilities around
the globe and took part in swimming lessons at 11 am EST today. The
yearly event is held to raise awareness about the importance of
teaching children to swim in order to prevent drowning.
"Our community is surrounded by water so learning to swim saves lives,"
says Gena Fowler, director of leisure services for the town of Hampton
and Canadian Red Cross master instructor swimming trainer. "This is a
great way to promote not just the importance of learning to swim, but
learning safety skills around water."
More than 50 grade three students gathered with Red Cross instructors in
the town of Hampton, New Brunswick to help break the record.
"Far too many Canadians die each year from preventable water-related
injuries," says Shelley Dalke, manager, national swimming and water
safety programs for the Canadian Red Cross. "We congratulate everyone
who came out today and tried to set a new Guinness World Record and
helped to promote the importance of water safety."
Each year, an average of 400 Canadians drown, and more than half of
those occur during the summer months. Recent polling shows that despite
significant water safety education and awareness programming, there is
still a gap in Canadians' behaviour around the water: Drowning is one
of the leading causes of unintentional death for Canadian children ages
one to four. A small child can disappear in seconds and can drown in
only a few centimetres of water - enough to cover the mouth and nose.
Typically these drownings occur in backyard pools, toddler pools, the
bathtub or the beach.
The Canadian Red Cross has been helping to keep Canadians safe in, on
and around water since 1946, and trained over 1.2 million Canadians in
water safety last year. For more information about Canadian Red Cross
swimming and water safety programs, or for safety tips, visit www.redcross.ca/swim.
Note to media: photos at www.flickr.com/photos/canadian_redcross/sets/72157630128672510/
SOURCE CANADIAN RED CROSS
For further information:
Canadian Red Cross Media Line