UK drowning rate rise as 1 in 5 Sunderland residents have a fear of open waters

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Drowning rates are higher than ever and over third admit to poor swimming skills or not being able to swim

New statistics revealed today show 1 in 5 residents here in Sunderland don’t like swimming, while almost half of the City worry about drowning as the result of poor swimming ability.

40% of people here say that they never go swimming and another third will only ever swim on holiday.

More than 9 out of 10 in Sunderland agree that being able to swim is a vital life skill, but 2 thirds say it’s the responsibility of a school or swim teachers to teach their child to swim.

Almost half of the population of Sunderland worry about drowning as the result of poor swimming ability.

Recent cases here in Sunderland include that of Alex Hardy who slipped into water trying to rescue his dog – Alex was a non-swimmer.

Richard Tims is the President of the Swimming Teachers Association and says educating teenagers about water safety is vital.

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