News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, June 26, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Summer is the time when most people use the pool to cool down from the heat. However, it's also peak season for swimming lessons, and while most are for kids, there are some for adults.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources says 16 people have already drowned this year, and 11 of them were adults.
The adults at the YMCA on an Monday morning were all there to learn one thing: how to swim.
The oldest swimmer is doing it for a couple of reasons.
"I have a 3-year-old. So, my thing is if something happens to him, I need to learn how to save him. So, it's about safety for him ... and safety for myself," Demetria Johnson-Harris said.
Chris Pinto, the YMCA swim director, says you can never be too old to learn, but if you're too scared, you should at least know how to help someone who's in trouble.
According to Pinto, "What you do is find something that floats. It could be a basketball, a ring buoy -- it could be anything that floats -- and you throw that object to them. Again, if you are not trained to save somebody, you want to keep yourself safe as well. So, you find that object that floats and throw it out to them and tell them to grab on. This way they can keep their head above water."
And even though everyone uses water, Johnson-Harris knows why some are afraid to jump in.
"I think because it's in a different area, it's not in your home, it's deeper, and it just looks scarier -- the water does. You have more control when you're at home," she said.
If you do want to wet your feet, the YMCA says comes on down -- and that's what many old and young people are doing.
The YMCA offers an eight-course swimming class for adults year-round. If money's an issue, they offer scholarships for adults and kids. They even help provide swimsuits and towels for people who need them. Click here to visit the YMCA's website.