Swim lessons can save lives Published July 9, 2007 By Airman 1st Class Carissa Morgan 36th Wing Public Affairs ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Even though many people frequent the pool, not all of them can swim. Here at Andersen there is a solution to that problem--swimming lessons. The swimming lessons are 30-45 minutes in length and are held at Cape Hart Swimming pool located next to Andersen Elementary. There are two certified swimming instructors, and one of them here shared her experiences on swimming. "I've been teaching lessons since I was 14," said Airman 1st Class Kimberlee Tucker, an Applications Technician for the 36th Communications Squadron. "That equates to 12 years I've been giving lessons." Airman Tucker has swam or coached swimming teams for even longer. "My last coaching job was at Luke Air Force Base where I was a Swim Instructor, Swim Team Coach, Lifeguard and Manager of one of their two pools," she said. Airman Tucker said she has always swam like a fish, having started in a Parent and Tot class (that happened to be taught by her sister) before the age of 5. "I also took swimming lessons when the Red Cross still offered levels from Parent and Tot to survival swimming where we actually jumped in fully dressed and learned how to make our clothes into flotation devices," she said. Not everyone is a pro at swimming, however, said Airman Tucker. Swimming lessons, she said, provide an opportunity to learn to swim or expand on the skills one already has. Parent and Tot Lessons are for young children usually from the age of nine months to 3 years of age. Level I is for swimmers uncomfortable in the water and teaches skills such as floating and basic movement through the water. Level II covers many of the same skills as Level I but students are required to demonstrate each of the skills on their own. Level III is where students really begin to learn each of the six swimming strokes, Airman Tucker said. The most important thing to remember is always safety, she added. "As long as everyone from nine months to 99 years old knows how to get themselves to safety, many can learn to swim by simply being thrown into water, but for those that need a little more training I'm happy to assist," she said. Airman Tucker elaborated about how swimming is important for Andersen. "I think anyone who can't make it across the pool without taking a break should have some kind of swimming lessons," said Airman Tucker. "We live on an island where scuba and snorkeling are experiences that shouldn't be missed." Airman Tucker devotes her time and skills to help others because she enjoys doing it. Prior to joining the military she earned a bachelor's degree in education. Andersen's swimming course consists of eight lessons for $44. There are no set days for lessons. Class sizes are limited to six to eight students depending on the level. Private lessons are also available. Currently there are two certified instructors. Outdoor recreation can direct you to the best schedule to fit your needs. To schedule swim lessons, for more information, or if you have any questions, call outdoor recreation at 366-5204 or 366-5197.