May 5, 2011


Legislator Dennis Dunne and County Executive Ed Mangano Announce

Island-wide Initiative to Prevent Drowning as Beach & Pool Season Begins

Free Water Safety Classes to be Held Across Long Island to Mark National Water Safety Month

Legislator Dennis Dunne joined with Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, Long Island Drowning Prevention Taskforce President Jim Hazen of Saf-T-Swim and American Red Cross in Nassau County CEO Frank Cassano to announce the launch of a new initiative to prevent children from drowning in pools and the ocean. As part of the First Safety Awareness Day in Nassau County, the initiative will combat the increase in water-related deaths on Long Island through classes and workshops that are aimed at educating parents on swimming safety techniques.

“May is National Water Safety Awareness Month, which is an excellent reminder to parents and families regarding the safety precautions that should be taken when swimming,” said County Executive Mangano. “It only takes a few moments for a fun day at the beach or pool to turn tragic. I encourage everyone to consider these important measures to prevent drowning or other water-related injuries this summer.”

“As the Chairman of the Public Safety committee, I think it is of paramount importance that all preventative measures are taken when it comes to water safety.  I hope everyone has a safe and happy summer,” said Legislator Dennis Dunne.

“As a lifetime Long Island resident who has spent the past 28 years as a swimming instructor, I've noticed a disturbing trend: instances of drowning on the Island appear to be on the rise.  Because the best prevention against water-related accidents is awareness, Water Safety Day is a crucial event that every family on Long Island should consider attending.  If you and your family are planning a trip to the beach this summer or even your local pool, you should be cognizant of the latest safety techniques and procedures and remember that the most important safety tip is to have parental and adult supervision at all times,” said Long Island Drowning Prevention Taskforce President Jim Hazen.

The Long Island Drowning Prevention Task Force consists of local EMTs, nurses, and other health professionals who will provide year-round classes, workshops and other services at no cost to Long Island families. On Saturday, May 7th, local lifeguards and swimming instructors will provide free swimming-safety classes at all ten Saf-T-Swim locations across Long Island.

Drowning is responsible for the deaths of 26% of children ages 1-4 years old in the United States, but Long Island's drowning rates are substantially higher than the national average. In 2010, 14 drowning deaths were reported on Long Island.