|Published:||Sep 02, 2012 1:19 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Sep 03, 2012 11:07 AM EDT|
NAPLES, Fla.- More than 100 swimmers jumped into the Gulf Sunday morning for the first Park-to-Pier swim in Naples.
The event raised money for the T-2 Aquatics Program and the Safe and Healthy Children's Coalition of Collier County.
It was more than just a casual dip in the ocean for the close to 200 swimmers who made their way through the Gulf, from Lowdermilk Park toward the Pier in Naples.
T-2 Aquatics head coach Paul Yetter says, "Naples is a small community but it's a pretty tight knit community and drowning is something on the forefront of all of our minds in the aquatic community."
Swimmers could participate in a 0.6, 1.2 or 2.4 mile swim. 13-year-old Alex Bradfield said he was doing it for the love of swimming, and he was looking forward to racing his friends. Another swimmer, 14-year-old Jacob Buckheit, says he would encounter some new challenges in the race. "The waves, definitely. I breathe into them, so it's gonna be pretty hard."
With every stroke, Yetter hopes people learn more about water safety. "Drowning can happen in a second and if you are not aware of what's going on and going through drowning prevention strategies with your own family, and that's getting fences around pools, getting pool alarms and knowing where your kids are at all times, then you're at risk," he says.
That's why they donated at least $3,000 to the Safe and Healthy Children's Coalition of Collier County.
Executive Director Paula Digrigoli says they'll use the money for water safety programming for 4-5 year olds. "Swimming is not just an excellent sport, it is a life skill in Florida that everybody needs to know."