Swimmers aim to break world record

Swim students in the lake area swam for an hour Tuesday, June 14th to break an international record for the amount of swim students swimming worldwide.

Swimmers at Swimsational Swim School in Sulphur took part in "The World's Largest Swimming Lesson" from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Tuesday. The students swam simultaneously with other swimmers from 20 different countries and 34 states.

The record breaking event consisted of basic swimming exercises such as holding their breath underwater, floating, gliding, and free-style.

The goal was to break 2010's record where 4,000 swimmers swam for an hour worldwide. According to organizers, 2011's record is close to 30,000 swimmers participated in the endeavor.

Despite the world record, the purpose of the event is to inform parents about the importance of teaching children to swim.

Drowning is the second leading cause of injury related deaths among children ages 1-14. Statistics also show that if children do not learn to swim by the third grade, they likely never will.

Amanda Dougherty, a concerned parent from Sulphur, started paying for her son Lawson to receive swimming lessons when he was eleven months old.

"When he started crawling I was always worried about him falling in the pool," Dougherty said.

Dougherty said her son's swimming lessons saved his life in one recent incident.

"One day he was pushing his truck and it fell into the pool and he jumped in after it," Dougherty said. "But because he was in swim lessons, he knew to swim to the side and pull himself out."

Concerned parents feel that the world record event is a chance to improve their swim skills and potentially save lives around the world.

"It's really important that parents get their kids in swim lessons just as a preventative measure," Dougherty said.

A total of 27 swimmers participated in the world record event at Swimsational Swim School in Sulphur. The lake area swim school is one of three locations in the state of Louisiana that took part in the event.