Vital message to youngsters in biggest splash

Youngsters from Thames and Roseacre taking part in a huge swimming lesson at The Sandcastle.

Youngsters from Thames and Roseacre taking part in a huge swimming lesson at The Sandcastle.

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THESE youngsters made a huge splash as they learned about the dangerous side of swimming.

Pupils from Thames and Roseacre Primary Schools were taught to obey warning signs and shown vital rescue techniques as part of a world record breaking swimming lesson.

Children from schools in 13 countries on five continents joined the synchronised lesson along with those at the Sandcastle Waterpark, South Shore, in a bid to reduce water-related deaths.

Jane Kelly, organiser of the Blackpool event, said: “It’s massively important because swimming lessons save lives.

“The statistics on drowning from around the world show if children don’t learn to swim by the time they’re 14, they never will.”

Drowning is the second leading cause of unintended, injury related death of children under 14 and the leading cause of death for children aged one to five.

The Gazette’s Think Sea Safety campaign is urging both residents and holidaymakers to be aware of the dangers when swimming.

A tragic 22 people have drowned in the sea off Blackpool in the last 27 years.

Katie Sinister, a teacher instructing the children on water safety, said: “This is a phenomenal event because the children are taking part in something which they can remember for the rest of their lives.

“Hopefully they will take a lot away from the lessons and will save lives in the future.”

The hundreds of children involved in the day said they had benefited from learning the valuable lessons.

Rachael Lunn, nine, from Roseacre Primary School, said: “It’s really important to know how to swim because it can save your life.

“We do swimming lessons in school but we haven’t done anything like this before and it was exciting to be a part of a world record attempt.”

Millie Fielding, nine, also from Roseacre, added: “I thought it was really fun and exciting.

“I was nervous to be taking part but it was really great and I learnt a lot.”

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