Dougherty Co. coroner to host 6th annual Swim for Life program

The initiative is working to help prevent people from drowning.
Published: May. 7, 2023 at 5:14 PM EDT|Updated: May. 7, 2023 at 7:29 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - As the weather gets warmer and pools open up, knowing how to swim is essential. Every year in the United States there are over 4,000 fatal unintentional drownings, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler is doing his part to help lower that statistic.

Fowler is hosting his sixth annual Swim for Life summer camp. An initiative that helps save kids from accidental drownings in the summer.

“We want to get as many possible kids to join,” Fowler said. “We’re probably going to have more kids than we normally have. We normally have about three hundred kids. But we’re looking at at least about five hundred kids this year.”

Last summer, Dougherty County experienced the drowning of a 15-year-old boy at an apartment complex in the 1400 Block of Whispering Pines. This is something that’s all too common in Georgia.

“It’s really a personal safety thing,” CEO of the Albany Boys & Girls Club Tim Wofford said. “When we talk about being able to save and survive your own incidents in water, I think what the Swim for Life program does is it minimizes and eventually eliminates the fear of being near and in water. It’s a life skill that is essential just to your own personal well-being.”

If parents want to sign their kids up for the class which will take place in June, you can start planning now.

“June the 3rd down at Turner Park, we’re going to have bouncy houses, swim gear, people can come and sign their loved ones up during that time,” Fowler said. “We’re going to have tables for the YMCA, Boys & Girls Club and the rec. We’re asking all of them to come out from ten to one to sign up.”

The Boys & Girls Club, which has partnered with the coroner and the Swim for Life initiative. They will be open this summer from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays to provide kids with activities and opportunities to use their swim skills.