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Utah part of effort to set record for world's largest swim lesson

Published June 14, 2012 3:12 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Pools across the world were expected to be teeming with children and adults Thursday as they sought to break the Guinness World Record for largest simultaneous swimming lesson ever conducted.

Six Utah facilities were registered to participate in the event, including the South Davis Recreation Center and the Salt Lake City Sports Complex.

Last year, World's Largest Swimming Lesson (WLSL) set the mark at more than 20,000 participants representing 13 countries and 45 states in the U.S. That number shattered the previous record, set in 2010 by the same program, of 3,971. The WLSL program seeks to build awareness about the importance of teaching children to swim to prevent drowning.

Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 1 to 14 years, and the fifth-leading cause for people of all ages, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

At each location, 25 people must participate continuously for 30 minutes to count toward a new world record. It must then be confirmed in writing by two independent witnesses.