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Gulfport kids take part in the world’s biggest swimming lesson

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) – Thousands of children at water parks around the world attempted to break a Guinness World Record for the world’s largest swimming lesson on Tuesday. Over a hundred kids had fun at the Gulf Islands Water Park in Gulfport.

“It’s happening all over the world. Probably five different continents, not to say how many countries,” said Mark Moore, general manager of Gulf Island Water Park.

In the United States alone, more than 200 water parks simultaneously offered the free introduction to water. As you can imagine, it takes a lot of support to pull off a large-scale project like this.

“It’s organized, really, by a number of people. World Waterpark Association, Jeff Ellis and Associates, American Red Cross, are just three of 20 sponsors who are strong supporters of swimming lessons for kids across the country.”

Organizers said the World Swimming Lesson is even more important because accidental drowning is the second most common cause of accidental death in children.

“If kids don’t learn to swim in third grade, chances are they never will, and that’s a big deal for us here,” said instructor Emily Hagin. “That’s why we give our lifeguards a big role in promoting safety, so we thought it was great to participate and involve the community.”

“Knowing how to swim is really a life skill,” Moore said. “It’s a basic skill. You never know when you’ll need to call on it. Clearly not everyone needs to be Michael Phelps, but knowing some basics and knowing how to be in Water safety is good for everyone.”

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