The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


June 21, 2014

47 in Valley among 70G seeking Guinness record

DANVILLE — DANVILLE — Forty-seven youngsters on Friday hit the pool at the Danville Area Community Center to join in what will likely be a Guinness Book of World Records effort for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson.

The Danville center participated in last year’s record-setting simultaneous lesson, which attracted nearly 52,000 people globally, said Billie Ingraham, the center’s programs director.

On Friday, at least 33 countries and about 400 locations in the United States were part of the attempt to shatter the 2013 mark.

Ingraham expected about 70,000 people to complete the lesson this year worldwide.

This is the fifth year for the simultaneous lesson.

Hunter Neiman, 9, said he was participating a second time in the attempt so he could get stronger in the pool.

Each location teaches the same 30-minute lesson, covering water safety, getting in and out of the pool, proper breathing, floating and a simple stroke.

The goal is to prevent drowning, which is the second-leading cause of death among those ages 14 and younger in the United States.

Drowning is also the leading cause of death of children 5 and younger, Ingraham said.

“And it’s totally preventable,” she said.

Research has shown participating in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children 1 to 4.

Swim instructors assisted in teaching the lesson in the indoor pool.

Registered nurse Jessica Holmes, injury prevention coordinator in Geisinger’s Pediatric Trauma Department, distributed water safety packets and certificates.

Serving as official witnesses were Danville Mayor Bernie Swank and Holmes.

Ingraham said photos and sign-up sheets will be submitted to Guinness officials who are expected to make their official determination on the number of participants by January.


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