(WMC-TV) - Thousands of people from across the country took to swimming pools Tuesday in an attempt to beat the world record for the world's largest swimming lesson. The City of Memphis joined in the effort, in an attempt to help beat the standing record of 24,873 participants.
The pool at the Bickford Aquatic Facility began filling up with people for the world's largest simultaneous swimming lesson. The scene was similar at thousands of pools across the country as people came together for what has become an annual event.
The event is not only aimed at setting a new Guinness world record, but to also teach children how to be safe in the water.
According to Splash Mid-South, drowning is the leading cause of unintended, injury-related death in kids ages 1 year old to 5 years old.
Gabrielle Warren, 12, is one of the youngsters who joined others in Memphis trying to break the world record. She learned to swim at a local pool and is now part of the "Splash" program and a mentor to beginning swimmers.
"I'm really grateful that I know how to swim so its a big advantage," she said. "Because if you don't know how to swim and you go to the deepest end, you might drown."
Organizers say while breaking that Guinness record would be nice, the main goal is to teach water safety.
There have been several drownings in which the victims did not know how to swim.
"We really want to promote awareness and the importance of water safety and help keep teaching all of the children in our community to learn how to swim," said Anthony Norris, Splash Mid-South.
Gabrielle agrees. She thinks swimming is something everyone should learn.
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