Charleston swimmers splash toward world record

Charleston swimmers splash toward world record

Fifty young swimmers on James Island jumped-in on a cause to set a world record Friday.

It was part of nationwide event called, "World's Largest Swimming Lesson." Swimmers, ages 6-9, attempted to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson, which stands at 32,450 participants.

Young swimmers learned the basic strokes at: Splash Island Waterpark in Mount Pleasant, Splash Zone Waterpark on James Island, Whirlin' Waters Waterpark in North Charleston, and Schroder-Blaney Recreation Complex in Hollywood.

Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission hosted the event locally and organizers preached the importance of teaching kids to swim.

"For parents, they need to get their kids in the water early, at an early early age," said CCPRC safety program assistant manager Stephen Fernandez. "Even when they're babies and infants, get them used to the water. Get them lessons and teach them how to swim so they can grow up and be safe."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning remains the leading cause of unintended, injury- related death for children ages 1-5, and the second leading cause of accidental death for children under 14.

People across the country joined the effort, but not in the water. They took to social media with pictures and hashtags like: @TheWLSL #WLSL #SwimLessonsSavesLives.

Organizers expect to have a exact number of today's participation in a few weeks. All participating groups must submit names and pictures. Then, Guinness Book of World Records will review it.

Copyright 2014 WCSC. All rights reserved.