FORT MILL, S.C. -- It's Fort Mill's first year participating in the World's Largest Swimming Lesson where kids and even some adults get a free swim lesson. Aquatics Director Harry Truesdale says it won't be the community's last.
You're not like a fish or a shark. They were made to swim, Truesdale said. Humans, we have to be taught and it's just a learning process throughout our lives.
These 35 kids are learned the basics, but even the most skilled swimmers could be at risk in certain environments. Drowning is the second leading cause of childhood unintended and injury-related deaths for kids ages one to fourteen, and where you swim can play a part.
The ocean for one, is scary, Kristina Dudla said. My son is very brave, but he's very light weight and I just worry that if he wants to go ahead and dive into a big wave that he won't come back up.
At a water park with high-speed rides and slides, the unfamiliar territory can be dangerous.
Your kid may know how to swim when they're at the community pool or at their own swim lessons, said Zachary Brown, the manager of aquatics at Carowinds. But a lot of these rides have different dynamics.
Lakes and rivers bring on another dimension, because they aren't controlled or man-made environments.
Visibility is not that great, so if you go under you don't know what you could get snagged on or you could hit your head, said Pete Hovanac, communications director for the city of Monroe. Anything can happen and you just want to be prepared.
Each time he hears of a drowning victim, it's that much more motivation for Truesdale to keep instructing.
It really hits me hard. It really does hit me hard. I wish I was that person to teach that person how to swim.