Safety training essential in wake of summer drownings

Posted: Updated:
EAST HANOVER -

After five drownings deaths in New Jersey in just over a week, state residents are reminded of how dangerous the water can be.

Swimmers at the Fun Plex in East Hanover were given swimming lessons as part of a worldwide program called World’s Largest Swimming Lesson to teach children how to swim. 

Twelve-year-old Ziara Matute says that she wants to be safe in the water not only for herself, but for her cousins who are inexperienced swimmers.

“Since I have tiny cousins, in case they jump in the pool or something, and have to get them out,” she says.

Experts say that it is important to get children comfortable in the water at an early age.

But four out of the five recent drownings in the state have happened at New Jersey’s beaches when lifeguards were not on duty. The young swimmers were caught in rip currents and swept away.

A 17-year-old swimmer also died when he was swept away by a strong current in a marshy area in Hamilton Township.

Lifeguards say that swimmers should never try to swim unless a lifeguard is present.

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