Drowning death of Charleston teen inspires swimming initiative

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10 people die every day from unintentional drowing, and two are children 14 and younger. Fatal drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths for children under 14.

The Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission, the Parklands Foundationand the Genesis Project are teaming up to create a new the Swim For It campaign to raise money for drowning prevention.

The Genesis Project began in 2014 after the drowning of 13-year-old Genesis Holmes in Hollywood, South Carolina. His mother, Jennifer Holmes, tells News 2 Genesis did not know how to swim. The project aims to eliminate drownings in Charleston County by providing swimming lessons, water safety classes, and the construction of pools in rural areas.

To help in this effort, voluntary donation sites will be set up this summer at Charleston County waterparks. Donations will be used in the construction, maintenance, and ongoing pool operational expenses in Johns Island, McClellanville, and Hollywood/Ravenel.