PIO Number: 18-6-13

Date: June 14, 2018

Drownings are preventable, yet last year, Florida led the nation with the greatest number of child drownings.  There is no substitution to having eyes on swimmers while they're in a body of water, but learning essential survival skills can mean the difference between life and death. 

This year, the Broward Sheriff's Office is teaming up with Baby Otter Swim School to put the safety into swimming by showing the community how the Baby Otter method of "Turn, Kick, Reach" can be used to return to safety through the Make Florida a Zero Drowning State campaign.

Make Florida a Zero Drowning State

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 16

Pompano Beach Aquatic Center

820 N.E. 18th Ave.

Baby Otter and its ambassadors—baseball Hall of Famer Andre Dawson and 13-year-old Layla Crehan, a Special Olympics gold medal swimmer from Pembroke Pines—will share their stories of swimming success through the Baby Otter system and will be on hand for this educational, family fun event.

As part of BSO's commitment to drowning prevention, Baby Otter Swim School has been awarded $10,000 in funds from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund to sponsor swimming lessons for 40 kids in our community. The children have been pre-selected with the assistance of school resource officers throughout the county and the swim school. Scholarship recipients and their families will be on hand at the event.

More on Baby Otter ambassadors:

  • Andre Dawson, 62, was taught by Baby Otter how to swim at the age of 49.
  • Layla Crehan -  Eight years ago, Layla's mother struggled to find a school willing to teach her how to swim due to her being autistic.  Baby Otter taught Layla and her autistic brother how to swim in just five days. Layla not only went on to win the gold in the Florida Special Olympics, but she's also become a mentor for other autistic youth about conquering their fears. 

Keyla Concepción

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