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Swim safety program gets boost in Montreal

Over the next two years, more than 25,000 grade three students will participate in the Lifesaving Society’s Swim to Survive program thanks to a $200,000 donation from the city of Montreal.

Quebec’s Lifesaving Society recently received a $200,000 donation from the city of Montreal to fund the non-profit organization’s Swim to Survive program.

According to a report by CTV News Montreal, the money will allow more than 25,000 grade three students to participate in the program. In many cases, it will be the first experience in a pool for some children.

The Swim to Survive program comprises three in-pool lessons which teaches participants the basic skills of rolling into deep water, treading water for one minute, and swimming or safely moving across a distance of 50 m (164 ft) in the water. Aquatic safety will also be taught during three classroom sessions.

Raynald Hawkins, the executive director of the Quebec branch of the Lifesaving Society, told CTV News Montreal the children will not only learn how to swim and tread water, but also be taught how to respond should they unexpectedly fall into water.

“They have to do the role entry, to replicate the disorientation when they fall overboard, for example, or inside the pool,” he said in the report. “They will also have to remain above the surface for 60 seconds to maintain their breath and find a safe exit.”

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