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Theme parks, local pools take part in World's Largest Swimming Lesson

Hundreds of facilities in 20 countries participated in the event

Courtesy: Legoland Florida
Courtesy: Legoland Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. – Swimmers and future swimmers from all over Central Florida participated in the ninth annual "World's Largest Swimming Lesson on Thursday. It was one of many cities around the world to take part in the event, according to a news release.

Officials said SeaWorld Orlando hosted a large-scale swim lesson in one of the park's Aquatica pools.

Courtesy: SeaWorld Orlando
Courtesy: SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld was one of many organizations to host a lesson in Central Florida and one of hundreds of facilities in more than 20 countries on five continents to participate in the event, according to the release.

The release said the lesson was taught by Aquatica lifeguards with help from three-time Olympic gold medalist and U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame member Ambrose "Rowdy" Gaines. 

Officials from Legoland Florida in Winter Haven said the park partnered with Autism Speaks to host a smaller session for over 15 children on the autism spectrum.

Organization officials said the World's Largest Swimming Lesson was created to raise awareness about children's risk of drowning and to encourage them to learn how to swim. Drowning is one of the top five causes of death for children between 1 and 14 years of age and children who do not learn to swim before third grade often never do, officials said.

Courtesy: SeaWorld Orlando
Courtesy: SeaWorld Orlando