Y teaches water safety

To kick off the 2013 swim season, Tiffin Community YMCA Aquatic Team hosted a Family Water Safety Day Saturday to teach water safety tips.

Each year, an average of 3,880 people in the United States are victims of fatal drowning and an estimated 5,789 are treated for non-fatal drowning.

Stations were set up throughout the afternoon to teach safety tips for when in or around the water. Topics included boat safety, backyard pool and pond safety, use of lifejackets, personal survival skills, and reaching and throwing skills. Demonstrations were provided by the YMCA Aquatic Team, PADI certified scuba instructors, certified lifeguard instructors, swim instructors and members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Hank Elchert of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary taught tips on boat safety. He said the most important thing to know about being in a boat is to wear the proper life-preserving device.

Bob Stover, YMCA scuba instructor also was in attendance, giving an introduction to equipment and safe diving procedures.

Stover is to teach six diving courses throughout the year. Upcoming courses are May 11 and June 1. The three-day course costs $325, which includes instruction, pool equipment and certification fee.

Stover said the classes have an academic portion, a period where he teaches in confined water, such as a pool, and an open water lesson. Individuals are Professional Association of Diving Instructors certified after the course and can dive anywhere.

For more information, contact Stover at (419) 447-1819.

The YMCA is to have swim safety courses throughout the summer, including three, two-week sessions of swim lessons and safety tips.

“It’s like riding a bike, to get better you have to practice your skills,” YMCA Aquatic Coordinator Paul Fortney said.

For more information about swimming lessons or water safety courses, call (419) 447-8711.