Heading into the Memorial Day holiday weekend, millions of Americans will go for a swim in the nation’s oceans, lakes, rivers and, of course, swimming pools.
But the Red Cross says that more than half of all Americans (54 percent), and two-thirds of African-Americans (67 percent), cannot meet a basic set of water safety standards.
Simply put, most Americans can’t swim.
“Our goal is to cut drowning rates by 50 percent over the next three to five years,” Connie Harvey, director of the Red Cross' Aquatics Centennial Initiatives, told Yahoo News during a phone interview.
To achieve that goal, the Red Cross is launching training programs in 50 cities across 19 states, reaching an estimated 50,000 individuals. It has also launched a swim app for families that want to track their progress as they learn to swim.
Today’s drowning statistics might not sound that alarming on the surface: just 1.3 deaths out of every 100,000 individuals. But that translates to around 3,600 drowning deaths eachRead More »from Red Cross: More than half of Americans can’t swim