Locals dive into world record attempt

By Alyssa Donovan

June 18, 2013 Updated Jun 19, 2013 at 10:18 AM CDT

PEKIN, Ill.-- Thousands of kids spent the morning swimming towards a world record.

On Tuesday morning young swimmers all over the world learned about swimming safety.

It was part of an attempt to break the world record for the largest swimming lesson.

The free class was offered at locations worldwide including the YWCA in Pekin.

"There are hundreds of other facilities across the world that are participating in this event at the exact same time and because of that it is all technically together and can be called the world's largest swim lesson," said YWCA Aquatics Director Mitch Richards.

About 50 swimmers ages 3 to 14 were at the YWCA and for them to be part of the official worldwide count, strict guidelines had to be followed.

"The world's largest swimming lesson gives us a curriculum to follow and you have to follow it minute by minute. It says from 10:01 to 10:03 teach this," said Richards.

The current record is just over 29,000 swimmers.

Richards says even though the reason for the lesson is to break a record, any reason is a good reason to teach water safety.

"They taught me about the water and how safe it is and what to do in case of an emergency," said 8-year-old Clayton Bell of Peoria.

“If you're all by yourself in the pool and your drowning and your freaking out you can float on your back and calm down," said 11-year-old Jada Hart of Pekin.

As Hart learned, you should never be alone in a pool, you should only swim if there is a lifeguard on duty.

"If you can't get to the side of the pool you can always call lifeguard and they'll come get you," she said.

The swimmers will find out if they helped break the record in a few days.

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