Learn to Swim at the Beach Pool!

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Looking to polish your swimming skills for the summer? Or, more importantly, make sure your little ones know how to stay afloat? The Fort Myers Beach Community Pool has just the thing to ease those parental pool jitters. With swimming classes for all ages offered either during the week or on Saturdays, they will fully prepare anyone for a lifetime of watery fun!

We stopped in to visit the hardworking lifeguards last weekend. While most people were sleeping in to enjoy the holiday, these young men and women were at the pool bright and early for one of their regularly scheduled training classes, and Safety Coordinator Matthew Earpenback’s stopwatch making sure they knew it was no holiday for them!

“We do this at least four times a year, using our own dummies, fake blood, defibrillator machines and oxygen,” Matt told us. “We train for any scenario, and we do it for hours.”

We watched as one lifeguard ‘slipped’ on the stairs to the slide and fell to the ground, fake blood oozing from his forehead. Matt whistled and six lifeguards leapt to his side, performing CPR for a full ten minutes before they were given the all clear.

“They need to learn how long it can actually take to save someone’s life,” Matt told us. “I was a lifeguard at a pool on Sanibel, and we did give this woman CPR for over 10 minutes once. By the time the paramedics got there she was breathing on her own and recovered completely with no brain damage or other effects. Giving a person CPR and oxygen is the same as putting them on life support, and if you do it fast enough and don’t stop, you can bring them back. The important thing to remember is not to give up and not to stop.”

With all this training, it’s easy to see why these folks enjoy passing along their knowledge to little ones by teaching them to swim. The following is a list of the types of classes offered at the Beach Pool and when. Note that Saturday classes consist of six 40-minute lessons and weekday classes (Monday through Thursday) are eight 30-minute lessons. All classes are $20 per child (adults can participate too, or sign up for private lessons) per session. The Beach Kiwanis club donates generously to help keep lesson prices low. The next weekday session begins June 13th and the next Saturday session begins June 25th so sign up quickly!

Parent and Child Aquatics: Parents and children learn together to increase children’s’ comfort in the water and build a foundation of basic aquatic and water safety skills. This level is designed for children ages 6 months-3 years old. Saturdays from 8-8:40am and weekdays from 8-8:30am.

Preschool Level One: Orients the children to the aquatic environment and helps them gain basic aquatic skills.  Skills taught in this level are blowing bubbles, submerging head and floating. This level is designed for children ages 3-5. SA – 8-8:40am and weekdays from 8-8:30am.

Preschool Level Two: Helps children gain greater independence in their skills and develop more comfort in and around water.  Skills taught in this level include glides, using arms on front and back and treading water. This level is designed for children ages 3-5. SA – 8:40-9:20am and weekdays 8:40-9:10am.

Learn to Swim Level One: Helps participants feel comfortable in the water. Skills taught in this level include entering and exiting the water, fully submerging the head, and floating. This level is designed for children 5-12. SA – 8:40-9:20am and weekdays 8:40-9:10am.

Learn to Swim Level Two: Level Two gives participants success with fundamental skills. Skills taught in this level include front and back glides, treading water and using arms and legs on front and back. This level is designed for children ages 5-12. SA – 9:20-10am and weekdays 9:20-9:50am.

Learn to Swim Level Three: Level Three builds on skills with practice in deeper water. Skills taught in this level include survival float, front crawl, backstroke, dolphin kick and scissor kick. This level is designed for children 5-12. SA – 9:20-10am and weekdays 9:20-9:50am.

Learn to Swim Level Four: Level Four develops confidence and improves skills.  Skills taught in this level include front and back crawl, elementary backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. This level is designed for children 5-12. Call for availability.

The Fort Myers Beach Community Pool is located next to the Bay Oaks Recreational Campus behind the Beach Library. Summer hours are Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and Sundays from noon to 6pm. Three lap lanes are available for those seeking some exercise, plus there is a water slide and a special pool for little ones. In addition to swimming lessons, the pool offers Water Aerobics on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and Red Cross Certification classes. Professional lifeguards are present at all times. There is a wheelchair accessible swim lift and the pool can be rented for special events. For more information, call 239-463-5759.

 

Keri Hendry Weeg