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      Water safety begins with swimming lessons

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - A Charleston swimming instructor says it is never too late for someone to learn how to swim.

      Lawrence Frazier has been a swim instructor at the W.L. Stephens Aquatic Center on West Oak Forest Drive in Charleston for the last few years. He says 12-year-old Adarius Jenkins, of Johns Island, was supposed to be in his class, but drowned a day before the lessons began.

      "It really makes me sad," he said. "This is why we need to teach all kids early on how to swim."

      He says the biggest issue confronting young swimmers is fear.

      "A lot of the older people didn't have an opportunity to learn how to swim. So they just grew up having that fear and passed it along to their kids," he said. "In order to get over that fear you just have to come and get with an instructor and let them help you get over that fear because that's what we are here for."

      At the center they offer classes for both adults and kids. Frazier says the purpose is not to create Olympic swimmers but strong swimmers who have confidence in the water.

      "The first thing I look for is level of comfort. You got to have that level of comfort in the water in order to become a strong swimmer. If you don't have that level you always are going to swim with that fear. Fear mixed with water is really not a good thing."

      Frazier says kids no matter what should always be in controlled environment with supervision of and adult who can swim or could assist if a water a rescue.

      For swimming lessons you may contact the pool directly at 843-769-8261

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