BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio)— Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey announced a new plan Wednesday to help increase water safety in the city.
Her new plan, known as the Swim Safely Partnership, plans to help make it easier for children and adults to get swimming lessons in Boston. The plan includes measures to offer free YMCA swim classes to children and adults, offer free lifeguard training courses, and incorporate swimming lessons into the Boston Public Schools curriculum.
Janey's plan also seeks to provide lessons to those who have faced historic and economic barriers to swim lessons.
“Our beautiful City gems, such as our pools and beaches, should be places people can access with safety and confidence,” Janey said.
“Too often fear of water due to false and negative cultural assumptions, an overall lack of access, and the dearth of swimming caps to properly accommodate Black hair prevent enjoyment of these resources."
Janey said part of what motivated this plan was a high amount of drownings in the city and a lack of lifeguards. A recent study from the American Red Cross found that access to swimming lessons reduces a child's risk of drowning by 88 percent.
Starting Nov. 1, YMCA locations in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Hyde Park will begin to offer free eight-week-long swimming lesson programs as a part of the plan.