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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Sunshine State loses more children under the age of five to drowning than any other state in the country. That alarming statistic, and the importance of learning to swim, had many parents taking advantage of free swimming lessons Wednesday.

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The YMCA’s mobile aquatics program held free swimming lessons at the Oasis at Springtree pool Wednesday–the same pool where tragedy struck just last year. Twins that lived in the complex wandered onto the pool deck and into the pool. One of the twins did not survive, the other did but will need ongoing medical attention.

The apartment complex is now taking measures to prevent another tragedy from happening by bringing swimming lessons to their residents.

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“Getting the word out and educating parents…they need to get their children and swim lessons is so critical once they learn how to crawl, have access to a pool or water,” said Jackie Morgan with YMCA’s Mobile aquatics program. “This is a pool they go to on an everyday basis, teaching them the exit points so if they would’ve fallen accidentally into the water they know how to get out.”

More than a dozen parents took advantage of the free swimming lessons at the pool to teach their children one the most important lessons of their young lives–especially so in South Florida.

“It is so important to learn how to swim, there is so much water here in South Florida this is something we must take advantage of,” said Marlene Phillips mother.

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For more information on YMCAs mobile aquatics program, log on to their website ymcasouthflorida.org.

Marybel Rodriguez