Birch Bay joins The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson

As part of water safety promotion, Birch Bay Waterslides will join hundreds of aquatic facilities in more than 20 countries participating in The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson on Thursday, June 22.

An estimated 195,000 people from across the globe have taken part in The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson at community parks, swim schools and local water parks since it started in 2009. This will be the first time Birch Bay Waterslides joins in the fun.

“The purpose is to really spread the word that swim lessons really do save lives,” said Iain Buchanan, manager at Birch Bay Waterslides. “We are a water community and that’s one of the reasons why we’re so passionate.”

The teams at Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2 and Birch Bay Waterslides joined forces to host the event this year. Beginning at 4:30 p.m., volunteers will lead a free, hour-long water safety course at the Birch Bay Waterslides activity pool, located at 4874 Birch Bay-Lynden Road.

Volunteers will also be on the scene to direct participants to locations in Whatcom County that offer lessons and other learning opportunities about water safety. Birch Bay Waterslides does not currently have the capability to offer swimming lessons, but staff hope to install an indoor pool at its facilities in the future, Buchanan said.

More than half of Americans can’t swim or don’t have basic swimming skills, according to a 2014 survey conducted by the American Red Cross. For kids between the age of 1 and 4, participating in a swimming lesson can reduce their chance of drowning by 88 percent.

The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson at Birch Bay Waterslides is open to 50 people. Registration is required and can be completed online by visiting: bit.ly/2svaqOs.  To learn more about The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson, visit wlsl.org.

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