World's Largest Swimming Lesson - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

World's Largest Swimming Lesson

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By: Claire Powell
Twitter: clairenpowell

On Tuesday, kids from Altoona and all over the world were looking to set a new record for the world's largest swimming lesson. People from over 700 locations from five different continents participated. 

Last years Guinness World Record was set at 24,873 people. This year however, it is estimated that 35,000 people will take part in the event. 

"Everybody around the world is doing the same swim lesson, so they're doing some of the basics, as far as strokes and putting their heads under water, just teaching the kids a little bit about swimming and water safety," said Bruce Mason, Executive Director of the Altoona Facility. 

The Altoona Aquatic Center had 159 kids learning techniques for breathing and how to call for help in an emergency. 

"I think everyone feels, you know, they want their kids safe around water," said Mason.

Drowning is still the number two cause of injury-related death in children, especially under the age of 14. Even some of the kids know how important it is to know how to swim.

"Next time we go to a pool we're not like, dipping our foot in the pool and saying "Oh that's scary," " said brothers Drew and Jake.

All of the children who were part of the world's largest swimming lesson will now be able to see their names in the Guinness Book of World Records. 

"It's really awesome that other people can make it into a book, but it's our chance to make it into a book now, and it's really awesome," said Jake. 

As for next year, the Altoona Aquatic Center plans on participating again and the kids are already excited to get back in the pool for a chance at another world record. 

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