Anonymous donation helps BSO offer free swim lessons to 1,500 kids

Lessons provided through SWIM Central program


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Broward Sheriff's Office recently received a $70,000 anonymous donation and Sheriff Scott Israel decided to use the money to fund water safety lessons for 1,500 children.

In partnership with Broward County's SWIM Central, each child will have 10 half-hour swim lessons over a two-week period.

"Child drownings are 100 percent preventable,"  Israel said. "There is no reason any family should have to endure the tragedy of a drowning or near-drowning again in Broward County. I am so honored to help facilitate these potentially lifesaving lessons with Broward County's SWIM Central, and we are all thankful to the anonymous donor who made it possible."

Anita Chin said her child nearly drowned at a community swimming pool but was saved by her sister.

Surveillance video shows Emma Chin wandering into the pool. More than two minutes later, her sister realizes that Emma is missing.

"I was just swimming. I noticed something, and I was looking under the pool and I say her lying, and I jumped in and pulled her out," said Nicole Chin.

Nicole then screamed at her mother for help.

"My daughter Nicole came out with my daughter and she was unconscious," said Anita Chin. "I was in shock. I just have to save my daughter."

Anita performed CPR until paramedics arrived.

It took paramedics longer than expected because the person who called 911 didn't know the address to the community pool. All pools in Broward County now must have its address posted for swimmers to see.

More than 446,000 children have participated in the SWIM Central program and program officials said not one has had a near-drowning experience.

Click here for more information on water safety and the SWIM Central program.

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