LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Mar. 28, 2011 â" Guests visit Disneyâs Typhoon Lagoon for thrills like the Crush ânâ Gusher water coaster and Gang Plank Falls. This June, theyâll hit the water parkâs wave pool to help break a world record and spread an important message about teaching children to swim.
âWe were honored Disneyâs Typhoon Lagoon water park will once again serve as the official headquarters location for a second record-breaking Worldâs Largest Swimming Lesson,â said Jean Gallagher, director of water parks for Walt Disney World Resort. âAt Walt Disney Parks and Resorts we have a strong commitment to water safety and the Worldâs Largest Swimming Lesson is a reminder to guests of all ages that when they step in the water we want them to have fun and be safety smart at the same time.â
Last yearâs inaugural Worldâs Largest Swimming Lesson, hosted by Walt Disney World Resort, established the Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson when almost 4,000 participants across 34 states, five countries and three continents participated to build awareness about the vital importance of teaching children to swim to prevent drowning.
To help spread the message about the importance of learning to swim, the worldwide safety and accessibility team at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has produced a popular DVD, Disney's Wild About Safety with Timon and Pumbaa: Safety Smart in the Water. In the DVD, Timon and Pumbaa help children learn that fun in the water starts with safety. Hundreds of copies of the DVD were distributed at last yearâs event.
Tragically, drowning is the second leading cause of unintended injury related death of children ages 1-14 in the United States. In fact, more than one in four fatal drowning victims is a child under the age of 14.
Research also shows if a child doesnât learn to swim before the 3rd grade, they likely never will. The threat of childhood drowning is even greater outside the U.S.
Olympic gold medal swimmers Rowdy Gaines and Janet Evans once again serve as official spokespeople for the Worldâs Largest Swimming Lesson. Evans will encourage swimmers at a remote site in California, while Gaines will kick off the event at Disneyâs Typhoon Lagoon and serve as master of ceremonies.
âIâm thrilled to be working with The Worldâs Largest Swimming Lesson for the second year to help spread the word that swimming lessons save lives,â said Gaines. âLearning to swim and the exposure to the water safety messages that swimming lessons offer provide a fundamental first step in drowning prevention.â
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