YMCA offers free water safety course

The four-day course teaches basic survival skills.
Published July 22

The YMCAs of Tampa Bay are hosting their final round of Safety Around Water classes for the year.

The national curriculum adopted by most YMCAs across the country is designed to teach kids ages 3 to 12 basic water survival skills.

Lisa Warner, aquatics director at the YMCA of the Suncoast, said the program teaches two main skills: the swim-float-swim method of making it back to shore and the jump-push-turn-grab technique in case anyone falls into a pool.

“We’re in a peninsula,” Warner said. “We’re surrounded. There’s retention ponds everywhere, there’s pools everywhere. Drowning continues to be a cause of death for children in the area.”

The Florida Blue Foundation has sponsored the program locally, making the four-day program free. Warren said for families who wish to continue with swimming lessons but can’t afford it, the YMCA offers scholarships.

“We have a lot of transient population especially after the hurricane,” she said. “Or low income people who can’t find a job.”

Participants must bring their own swimsuit and towel. Pre-registration is required. Visit www.tampaymca.org/programs/swimming/water-safety/ for details.

The classes will take place at the following locations:

North Pinellas YMCA (4550 Village Center Dr, Palm Harbor): July 22-25

Hernando County YMCA (1300 Mariner Blvd, Spring Hill): July 29 to Aug.2

Bob Gilbertson Central City Family YMCA (110 East Palm Ave., Tampa): Aug. 5-8

Spurlino Family YMCA at Big Bend Road (9650 Old Big Bend Road, Riverview): Aug. 5-8

Dade City Family YMCA (38035 Meridian Ave, Dade City): Aug. 5-8

South Tampa Family YMCA (4411 S. Himes Ave., Tampa): Aug. 5-8

Bob Sierra Family YMCA (4029 Northdale Blvd.,Tampa): Aug. 5-8

Bob Sierra Youth & Family Center (4015 Ragg Rd., Tampa): Aug. 5-8

New Tampa Family YMCA (16221 Compton Dr., Tampa): Aug. 5-8

North Brandon Family YMCA (3097 S. Kingsway Rd., Seffner): Aug. 5-8

Northwest Hillsborough Family YMCA (8950 W. Waters Ave., Tampa): Aug. 5-8

Campo Family YMCA (3414 Culbreath Rd., Valrico): Aug. 5-8

Plant City Family YMCA (1507 YMCA Pl., Plant City): Aug. 5-8

Contact Divya Kumar at dkumar@tampabay.com. Follow @divyadivyadivya.