Islanders take the plunge for new world record attempt

One young swimmer takes a break during the lesson. - Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review
One young swimmer takes a break during the lesson.
— image credit: Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review

Bainbridge Island contributed 25 participants to this year’s annual international effort to set the world record for the largest swimming lesson Friday, June 20.

It was the first time that the Bainbridge Island Aquatics Center had participated in the yearly event, which coordinates numerous swimming lessons at various locations around the world during the same designated hours in an attempt to set the Guinness record for the largest swimming lesson as a means to increase public awareness about the importance of water safety for children.

According to the coordinating organization, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children ages 1 to 5.

“It’s kind of underrated,” said Mark Benishek, Bainbridge Island Aquatics Center administrator.

“This is a good community safety message, especially now that the kids just got out of school [and] they’ll eventually make their way to the shore or the beach.”

Last year’s event did indeed set the world record, with 32,000 swimmers participating world wide. Benishek submitted the Bainbridge numbers to the international tally later that same day.

Results are expected next week.

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