Hawaiian Falls participates in world's largest swim lesson

By: Nohely Mendoza

WACO, TX - Forty-five children have drowned in Texas this year alone.

According to the CDC, drowning is a leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of five.

Hawaiian Falls, together with over 200 other locations in more than 20 countries on five continents attempted to break the Guinness World Record on Thursday, for the world's largest swim lesson.

"Facilities all around the country, all around the world are honestly trying to emphasize the importance of being safe around the water," said Justin Litton, Park Director at Hawaiian Falls, Waco.


The CDC says one of the main factors that contribute to a child's drowning risk is their ability to swim.

"As many people that we can teach to swim, that's how many people can teach others to swim and it really reduces the risk of drowning," said Kylyn Fedro, Operations Manager at Hawaiian Falls, Waco.

Marissa Templeton is a mother of four, she says knowing how to swim is a life-saving skill.

"I've got a proficient swimmer, all the way to non-swimmers, and it really is important that they can swim, too many kids drown and water safety is a huge deal it's really important," said Templeton.

"We're going to try to teach them as best as we can how to swim, the strokes, and the blow in the bubbles that you did whenever you were a kid," said Fedro.

Because teaching a child how to swim could potentially save their lives.

"We've all heard the tragedies that we've had in town recently, and again that's part of the reason why Hawaiian Falls felt the need to also be part of this is to make sure we are doing our job and we help spreading the word on what water safety is and how to be safe," said Litton.

"Water, it looks innocent, but it can be so dangerous if you don't know and if you're not safe with it," said Templeton.

In 2010, the inaugural event established the Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson to build awareness about the importance of teaching children to swim to prevent drowning.

Last year, over 41,000 kids and adults participated in events in 26 countries from water parks across America to swim schools in India, Jamaica, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, the UAE and South Korea.

They all taught the same swimming lesson with one message: Swimming Lessons Save Lives.

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