New Wave of Water Safety Course in Ocean Pines

Worcester County Public School fourth-graders will soon partake in a unique field-learning experience with the help of the Ocean Pines Aquatics Department at the year-round indoor Sports Core Pool.

“We are excited to welcome more than 300 fourth-grade students to the Sports Core Indoor Pool,” said Ocean Pines Aquatics Program Supervisor Julie Winterling. “We hope these kids come away from the program with practical knowledge that will help them stay safe and keep family and friends safe in, on and around the water.”

Area students ages 9-10 will participate in the safety course, which includes lessons on survival swimming skills, tips on how to safely assist distressed swimmers, elements of first aid and all aspects of beach safety from rip currents to aquatic wildlife.

Senior staff members of Ocean Pines Aquatics, in conjunction with Ocean City Beach Patrol and Ocean Pines Fire Department, will teach hundreds of students from Ocean City Elementary, Berlin Intermediate and Buckingham Elementary schools beginning Tuesday, Oct. 2 from noon – 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control shows that every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger.

Winterling said last year, two students learned to swim during the program. “Ocean Pines Aquatics launched the program last year with fourth-grade students from Berlin Intermediate School as the first participants.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Worcester County has a total area of 695 square miles, of which 468 square miles are land and 227 square miles are water.

“The importance of this program for the youth of our seaside community cannot be stressed enough,” said Winterling. “Ocean Pines Aquatics is proud to take an active role in educating our children in all elements of water safety.”

The safety program is funded by the school district and is a newly launched partnership between the Ocean Pines Aquatics Department and Worcester County Public Schools.

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