MINNEAPOLIS – (June 28, 2015) – Swimmers of all ages and ability levels came together on June 18th in an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the Largest Simultaneous Swimming Lesson ever conducted. Abbey's Hope, a local water safety non-profit, teamed up with other industry leaders around the globe to host the event for the third year in a row and to promote Swimming Lessons Save Lives™.

527 kids, families and swim teams gathered at the Edina Aquatic Center for a 30-minute swim lesson. The lesson covered entering and exiting the water, breathing in the water, basic swim strokes, and the importance of adult supervision near the water. Lessons like the one held on the 18th at Edina Aquatic Center took place around the world at 10:00 a.m. local time. The goal is to break the current world record of 36,564 swimmers 480 locations in 22 countries participated to set the current record.

Although we did not break the single venue world record, we once again contributed mightily to the global world record. I am most certain that the event today helped raise awareness in the community about the importance of water safety and, in particular, swim lessons,” said Katey Taylor, Co-Founder and President of Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation. "Learning to swim is not only a life skill, but a life saving skill. All parents this summer should enroll their children in swim lessons if they are not comfortable in the water.”

Tragically, drowning remains the second leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1-14 and the leading cause for children 1-5. Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children ages 1-4. The World's Largest Swimming Lesson was created as a platform to help local community aquatic facilities and national, regional and state water safety and drowning prevention organizations work together to tell this important story.

To request B-roll footage and sound bites from this event, please contact Sam Carolus at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


About Abbey’s Hope:

Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation is a Minnesota nonprofit organization named after Abbey Taylor, the Edina, Minn., 6-year-old who died in 2008 as a result of injuries sustained in an improperly maintained pool drain cover.

The Foundation’s goal is to:

  • Promote awareness of and education related to child safety issues, including educating pool owners, operators, inspectors, and the general public about the dangers of pool entrapment, evisceration and drowning and the need for physical inspections of pool equipment.
  • Work with the pool and spa industry to improve the design of its products, packaging and warning labels, and assist in the development of product safety standards related to such products.
  • Identify and provide support and assistance to organizations and programs that help educate parents, children, and pool and spa manufacturers about the prevention of entrapment and traditional forms of drowning. 


Find out more about Abbey’s Hope at abbeyshope.org


The Dragonfly Story

Excerpted from the eulogy at Abbey Taylor's Celebration of Life Service

Below the surface of a quiet pond lived a colony of water bugs. They were happy, living far from the sun. But they noticed that occasionally, a member of their colony would climb up a lily stalk and disappear from sight, never to return. Where do you suppose she went? wondered a water bug.

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Pool Safety Tips

  • Use the Water Watchdog System to make sure children are always closely supervised in the pool area.

  • Remind kids to stay away from pool and hot tub drains.

  • Never dive into water less than 9 feet deep.

  • Keep gates to the pool area latched.

More water safety tips