VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – According to the CDC, an average of 11 people drown each day across the United States. In the Tidewater area, two people drowned during the Fourth of July weekend. The recent drownings prompted 10 On Your Side to speak with parents and swim instructors about swim safety. 

Judy Mingin’s two-year-old son Matthew is ready to wear his goggles and splash around. While swimming is fun for Mingin’s youngest…it’s a serious activity for her.

Last summer her middle child fell into a pool. When he realized the water was deeper than he expected, he started to panic. 

This year, all three of her children are in water safety classes at Great Neck Rec Center in Virginia Beach. “We wanted to give them the tools they needed,” said Judy Mingin. “So when we got the beach, the bay, the pool, they feel confident in what they are doing. “

Swim instructor Karen Mickunus agrees with Mingin. “It really bothered me,” said Mickunus, after she heard about the recent drownings.  According to Mickunus, swimming in the ocean or lake can catch people off guard because the bottom is uneven or a wave can knock someone off balance. 

“You are watching for a lack of movement,” said Mickunus. “You will see someone go under, maybe a wave goes over their head and then you don’t see them pop right up. Experts recommend calling for a lifeguard immediately. Also if a broom, pole, or pool noddle is around, extend it to the person in need.

If you are looking for more information about swimming lessons, here are companies and organizations that offer swimming classes in the Hampton Roads area: