New Jersey Town Offering Free Swimming Lessons After Multiple Drownings

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As families flock to beaches on oceans and lakes, or stay at home in backyard pools during the summer, the dangers of the open water continue to rise and the need for water safety also continues to rise.

A New Jersey town is making sure to remind the community of the dangers and do something to try to avoid tragedies in the water.

Four people in East Brunswick, New Jersey, died in multiple drownings in backyard pools in the past two months.

The town is looking to provide free swimming lessons to any residents who need them, according to NJ Advance Media.

“(The deaths) puts a spotlight on drowning and the ability to be able to swim. So many people today don’t know how to swim, whether it’s children or adults,” Mayor Brad Cohen told NJ Advance Media. “Nothing happened in East Brunswick or the water in East Brunswick that made us more susceptible to drowning, it could happen anywhere.”

According to the report, three members of the same family died in late June, as a mother and grandfather drowned while trying to save an 8-year-old girl who had fallen into a pool, and a young child died on the Fourth of July.

Police said none of the three people who drowned in June could swim, and the town wants to make sure that the free lessons include adults.

About half of all adults can’t swim, or lack basic swimming skills, according to a 2014 American Red Cross study.

Water safety is always an issue with kids. Children between 1 and 4 years old are at the highest risk of drowning, and are most likely to drown in home swimming pools, the Center for Disease Prevention and Control said. After car crashes, drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death in children younger than 14.

Cohen said he is hoping other towns follow East Brunswick’s lead in water safety and also look into implementing swimming programs before tragedy strikes.

• Check out more water safety news here.

3 comments

  1. avatar
    Anne

    I live in EB, where lots of town planning is going on. Since our town does not have an indoor pool, many people requested a pool/YMCA as part of the town plans. Mayor Cohen instead chose to build an ice rink instead of a pool, which would be beneficial in teaching swim lessons.

  2. Wendy B-v

    I live in EB where lots of town planning is going on. Many people have requested a pool be part of the town plans, but mayor Cohen has decided an ice rink would be better use of funds. In my humble opinion, I guess swim lessons aren’t really on the top of his priority list.

  3. Leslie Thompson

    It’s a shame that EB never wanted to work with the YMCA in EB to build a pool that so many could benefit from

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