Drowning is a tragic and preventable occurrence that takes the lives of far too many people, especially children.
That's why promoting and implementing drowning prevention programs is essential to ensure everyone can enjoy the water safely. In May 2021, Chairwoman Vargas and I co-docketed the first Drowning Prevention Board Letter. This legislation started a program to prevent drownings by promoting water safety and offering swimming lessons to those who needed them. The results were astounding: over 8,000 participants became water-safe, and 4,385 took in-water swimming lessons.
Because of the program's success, I would like to see it replicated every year. At this week's Board of Supervisors meeting, we funded the program for another year and directed our Chief Administrative Officer to seek annual funding of $250,000 for swimming lessons.
These are not just numbers on a page; they represent lives saved, and families spared from tragedy. It's essential to note that drowning is 100% preventable, and this program has been effective in preventing accidents. The success of this program has demonstrated that it needs to continue to reach even more San Diego children and their parents to prevent accidental drownings.
The success of the program continued. Our office gave almost $45k in Community Enhancement Grant dollars to the Joe and Mary Mottino Family YMCA in Oceanside for free community swim lessons. As a result, 100 swim lessons were provided to those who could not afford them otherwise.
As we enter the summer months, I will continue looking for additional opportunities to provide more lessons and help people become water-safe. The goal is to ensure everyone has access to the resources and knowledge needed to enjoy the water safely.