PIGEON FORGE (WATE) – With more than two dozen slides and thrill rides, Dollywood’s Splash Country packs a punch when it comes to summer fun, but the number one priority for the workers is keeping guests safe.
“Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in young children and it’s important for us to get that message out, especially to parents,” said Dollywood’s Splash Country Aquatics Team Lead Lauren Lowery.
To bring awareness Thursday, the water park held its sixth annual Water Safety Day. A certified swim instructor taught kids and their parents proper swim kicks and lifesaving techniques.
While at the park, people also attempted to beat the Guinness World Record by taking part in the world’s largest simultaneous swim lesson.
“This is huge. Kids have to be adapted and learn how to swim at an early age,” said swim coach Stacy Brackins.
That includes kids like Reese Hutchins, who loves spending hot summer days swimming.
“I love [swimming]. It’s one of my top number one things.. I’ve just liked the water ever since I was little,” she said.
Reese’s parents know it’s important to teach their kids how to swim. They also always keep a watchful eye when their kids are in the water.
“We tag team, one of us watches [Reese] and one of us watches [Tate] because something tragic can happen in an instant,” said parent Jon Hutchins.
It’s because of the dangers that Dollywood’s Splash Country keeps 85 highly-trained lifeguards on duty at all times.
“Our lifeguards go through a 24 hour training program to learn everything from in-water rescue skills, CPR techniques, water extraction and, most importantly, how to function as a lifeguard team,” said Dollywood’s Splash Country Operations Manager Jordan Leach.
While it’s a lot of work for the lifeguards, all the kids know is long summer days full of fun.
In 2014, water parks across the world broke the record for the largest simultaneous swim lesson, with more than 36,000 people taking part in 22 different countries. We’re still waiting to find out if they beat that number of swimmers for 2015.