Six teenagers who drowned in the Red River in Louisiana have been identified as siblings from two families. They were wading in the river near Shreveport when a 15-year old boy in the group slipped and fell into deeper water. The others rushed to help him and fell in as well. One life jacket helped save the life of one of the teens who fell into the water. The teens who drowned were with adults, who also could not swim.
On the heels of this tragedy, we are taking a look at swimming safety for all ages. Learning how to swim can be a tough task for any child or adult to overcome, but when we experience temperatures in the hundreds, and there is a cool pool, some might forsake the basics and just jump in.
Eliete Anderson and her family go to the pool often. "Every opportunity we have around the water, we go to the water."
Irene Benavides also takes her kids to the pool to cool off. "If it were up to them, they would be in the pool the whole day!"
Texoma's triple digit days are here, and people are flocking to pools, lakes and rivers to stay cool. For Eliete Anderson, a mom with 4 kids, summer is the perfect time to learn how to swim safely. "There are just too many instances with kids and pools drowning and not having any knowledge or being comfortable with the water. So I want to make sure my kids are very comfortable with the water."
Getting comfortable can be a scary thing. Swimming lessons will help to teach the basics, while giving kids the opportunity to have fun. But some don't always get lessons early on. The good news is it's never too late to learn how to swim.
Julie Clairday is a lifeguard at The Y. She said, "we have people of all ages that are taking swim lessons. If you don't have the time to learn how to swim, think again. "It usually takes about 2 weeks for them to learn the proper techniques and for them to advance to the next level," said Clairday. "The first thing would be to make sure that you are not afraid to go under water. Just stay calm, and realize that the water isn't a scary place. Just try to keep your head above water and float and enjoy it!"
Learning the basics really can save your life. That's something Irene Benavides has made a priority in her household. "You never know, as a parent, all you can do is give them the best tools that you can and hope for the best."
Julie Clairday said even the most experienced swimmers should always bring a flotation device whenever you're near the water, whether it is a pool, lake or river. Look for ones that are U.S. Coast Guard approved.
The Y offers swimming lessons for people of all ages throughout the summer. Click on the link for more info on how you or your kids can get involved.