WASHINGTON (AP) -- The American Red Cross is launching a national campaign to reduce the drowning rate by 50 percent in 50 cities over the next three to five years.
To mark its 100 years of swimming safety education, the Red Cross is planning to teach 50,000 more people in 50 selected cities across 19 states how to swim, and is urging people across the country to make sure they and their families can swim.
Connie Harvey, director of the Red Cross Centennial Initiative, says they are asking every family to make sure that both adults and children can swim and that parents make water safety a priority this summer.
The Red Cross drowning prevention campaign comes at a time when a new national survey finds that people believe they are better swimmers than they actually are. The survey, conducted for the Red Cross, found that while 80 percent of Americans said they could swim, only 56 percent of the self-described swimmers can perform all five of the basic skills that could save their life in the water.