Twin Cities YMCAs target low-income kids with water safety skills lessons

By Maricella Miranda, Pioneer Press

With a water noodle in hand, Marriaunna Martin was ready to swim.

But she wasn't using the noodle as a toy. The flotation device was a safety tool for the 9-year-old and her peers this week at the Blaisdell YMCA in Minneapolis.

For about a month, the Y's swim instructors have been teaching the group water safety skills like how to float on their backs and stomachs, how to tread water and what to do if someone accidentally falls into deep water.

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Toddler Dies after Apparently Climbing into Swimming Pool

By Dana Landgrebe, WDIO/ABC

A toddler has died after allegedly drowning in an inflatable swimming pool outside Duluth on Thursday evening.

Sgt. Wade Rasch with the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office said they received a call around 5:45 p.m. that a 1-and-a-half year old boy was found in the family's pool unconscious. This happening at a home off Old North Shore Road in Duluth Township.

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Boy, 11, drowns in Hennepin County farm pond

By Associated Press, From StarTribune

Corcoran, MN- An 11-year-old boy apparently has drowned in a Hennepin County farm pond.

The sheriff's office says two young brothers from St. Paul were visiting a farm in Corcoran with their family. One brother alerted an adult that his broth was in the pond and needed help.

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Task Force Spreading Word On Water Safety


Minneapolis- With 25 drownings this summer in area pools, ponds and lakes, a newly formed task force is spreading the word about water safety. The squad is doing it at the site of a drowning last year.

Last August, two people drowned at the Lancaster Village Apartments in Plymouth, when a 26-year-old man tried to save a 9-year-old girl.

A dozen apartment managers gathered on Thursday at the same pool for a safety demonstration, hoping to prevent similar tragedies.

The seminar was sponsored by the Hennepin County Water Safety Task Force which created a video, pool signs and is working with the Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation to promote its Water Watchdog program.

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6-year-old boy at park for party drowns in Wirth Lake

By Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune

A 6-year-old boy at a birthday party drowned Saturday at Theodore Wirth Park in Golden Valley.

About 5:30 p.m., someone walking in Wirth Lake notice a child on the lake bottom in about 4 feet of water, not far from shore, according to the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.  

Lifeguards were alerted, and they pulled the boy from the water and began CPR. The boy was taken by ambulance to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, where he was pronounce dead.

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Water Watchdog:Pool Safety

By Boua Xiong, KARE

Plymouth, Minnesota- Almost one year ago tragedy struck at Lancaster Village Apartments in Plymouth when a 9-year-old girl drowned in the community pool and a 29-year-old man drowned while trying to help. Both were not strong swimmers.

Community Manager Julie Siegler received a phone call telling her there was a double drowning.

"It was disbelief," she said.

Major changes to the pool have happened since the incident. A 911 direct dial phone has been installed, emergency equipment is now surrounded by red tap and additional signage is up, including a poster from the Twin Cities Metro Water Safety Task Force.

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Minn. drownings hit 10-year high

By MASAKO HIRSCH , Star Tribune 

The number of drownings across the state has nearly hit a 10-year high, according to a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources report.

So far this year, 25 people have drowned in non-boating incidents, compared with 16 during the same time period in 2011. That's the highest number of non-boating fatalities up to this point in summer since 2003.

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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