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Swim Kaua‘i Aquatics hosts water safety clinic

The award winning U.S.A. Swimming Water Safety Campaign ‘Make a Splash’ is coming to Kaua‘i on Saturday, May 20. Swim Kaua‘i Aquatics will host the water safety clinic and open house at the Kaua‘i High School pool from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event will feature water safety demonstrations, swimming, scuba, and water polo exhibitions.

Also included will be ‘Swim Buddy’ relay races, splash contests, and other fun-filled events. The event is open to all Kaua‘i residents and visitors of any age. Admission is free.

Featured water safety speakers will include Aaron Habermann, a current Ocean Safety Service Lifeguard.

Aaron also heads up the Kaua‘i Junior Lifeguard Program.

The ‘Make a Splash’ campaign, now in its fourth year, was initiated by U.S.A. Swimming in response to the alarming number of drownings and near-drownings that occur every year.

The initiative reaches out to children and families across the country in an effort to educate them on the importance of proper swim instruction and water safety.

In 2005, more than 90,000 people signed the first ever Water Safety Pledge.

U.S.A. Swimming and Swim Kaua‘i Aquatics offer these statistics to demonstrate the need for action:

• Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children between the ages 1-14.

• Nine people drown in the US every day.

• 70% of all pre-schoolers who drown are in the care of one or both parents at the time of drowning. 75% are missing from sight for five minutes or less.

• A swimming pool is 14 times more likely than a motor vehicle to be involved in the death of a child age four or under.

Kalani Vierra, the Kaua‘i Ocean Safety Bureau co-supervisor and winner of the 2005 Eddie Aikau Waterman of the year said, “I fully support the ‘Make a Splash’ campaign. I think the more water safety programs that are available, the safer our Island will be. Kaua‘i is surrounded by ocean, and has many swimming pools for the community, in homes, and at our resorts.”

“It is also a great time to promote water safety, as it coincides with our Beach Safety Week which is from May 21-27. All on Kauai can increase their water safety knowledge before our busiest beach day which is Memorial Day,” Vierra continued. He advises everyone to be safe and swim near a lifeguard.

For more information on this event, contact Ro Davis, head coach of Swim Kaua‘i, at 742-8948.

For more information on the ‘Make a Splash’ Campaign, visit www.usaswimming.org/makeasplashmedia.

Kaua‘i’s Rex goes

down at junior worlds

Defending world junior champions Hawai‘i had three of their team eliminated yesterday — Kaua‘i’s Nathan Rex and Torrey Meister in the Under 18 Boys and Lani Hunter in the Under 18 Girls. The Quiksilver International Surfing Association World Jr. Championships are led by Australia.

Team Hawai‘i manager, Tommy Asing, 46, said Hawai‘i had now lost four surfers, one-third of their team, from the competition. “Australia lost only one today and one yesterday. But it’s not over until the finals are contested so we’re going to take it to the wire,” Asing said. “There are high expectations for us as defending world champions but there is so much talent here you never know which way it will go.”

Despite today’s losses, Asing said team morale was high and everyone was positive. “I think the key is staying relaxed and composed and giving it your best shot,” he said.

The Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships has two days left to run.

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