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Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.

From The New York Times:

Her Parents Thought Swimming Lessons Were a Good Idea

Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.…

Former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka

Good video about former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka


I got this email from a student and need help in directing him to a resource. Ccan anyone assist me with this?


My name is Jon Groover and I am currently working on a thesis on African Americans and Drowning at Florida Atlantic University.  I was wondering if you have any stats, info or observations that you might be able share with me to help with my thesis.  I’m a PADI OW instructor and have trained diver’s from all walks of life and have had some great training experiences.   The whole diving thing is kind of a side note in my thesis but I would really appreciate any help.  The Idea for my thesis came out of a African American Studies class that I was taking called “Educating the African American Student.

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Sounds like an interesting thesis. I am a graduate student also and mother of three swimmers. I swam in my youth for a high school team and worked as a lifeguard in college. In that time period I witness 3 drownings. The 1st one when I was in the 10th grade. A student somehow got into the swim area while it was closed and while the team was putting in the lane markers we stumbled upon the body. They pulled her out and tried to bring her back to no avail. The second time was at the same pool and a student had a seizure and went under; no one noticed; one teacher and we were all having free time and the 3rd, I was in college attending an HBCU and the pool was always closed due to lack of lights, guards, etc.... some students broke in to have some fun and the drowning victim jumped in the deep end. It was later reported that the students with him could not help because they did not know how to swim or what to do. When asked why did he jump into the deep if he knew he could not swim, they replied they all thought the pool was shallow.

I don't know off hand the number of drownings in my area, but I am sure they are not low. Many school no longer have pools because they can't afford the insurance cost coupled with the fact that the school system does not believe it is important to teach basic water safety or swimming. Which was a requirement when I was in school and is not one for my children. I live in Detroit where we have water-fronts that are accessible to anyone. Many people go boating in the summer month and there is always a story about an innocent child drowning because they fell out the boat or they got carried away by the current or what have you. Because of the economy our rec centers are closing many of the pools which were our only hope for teaching swimming and water safety to community members free of charge. So you can predict the numbers will go up.
Might I suggest that you inquire with some of the Water Safety Organizations like the Red Cross (Swimmers) and the Diving Acident Network (DAN). In addition to teaching Swimming as a WSI, like yourself, I have a number of years as a SCUBA Instructor (NAUI, PADI, & YMCA), and I am not sure if any of the Aquatic or Dive Organizations maintain acident records by Race or ethnic Groups. Many of these unfortunate incidents of drownings in the Inner-City and their cause are probably not even recorded. Good Luck in your continued Research! Also Jon, as a PADI OW instructor, you might want to join our SCUBA Group on the Diversity in Aquatics (DAP) Network. - Ric Powell

Use Jstor and search for the following articles:

1. Book By One Author
Wiltse, Jeff (2007). Contested Waters. Thorton H Brooks Fund of the University of North Carolina.

2. Article In A Journal Paginated By Volume
Mael, Fred A. Staying Afloat: Within-Group Swimming Proficiency for Whites and Blacks.
Journal of Applied Psychology, Volume 80 (4), August 1995, p. 479-490.

R.L. Allen; David L. Nickel: The Negro and Learning to Swim: The Buoyancy Problem Related to Reported Biological Differences. The Journal of Negro Education, Volume. 38, (Autumn, 1969), p 404-411.

Gitanjali Saluja, Ruth Brenner, Ann Trumble, Gordon Smith, Tom Schroeder, and Christopher Cox: Swimming Pool Drownings Among US Residents Aged 5-24 Years: Understanding Racial/Ethnic Disparities. American Journal of Public Health, Volume 96. No 4, April 2006, p. 728-733.

Ruth Brener, Ann Trumble, Gordon Smith, Eileen Kessler, and Mary Overpeck: Where Children Drown, United States, 1995: Pediatrics Vol. 108, No 1, July 2001, pp. 85-89.

Ruth Brenner: Prevention of Drowning in Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Pediatrics Vol. 112 No. 2, August 2003, pp. 440-445.

Rebecca Mitchell and Katrina Haddrill: From the bush to the beach: water safety in rurual and remote New South Wales: Aust. J. Rural Health (2004) 12, 246-250

K. Moran and T. Stanley: Parental perceptions of toddler water safety, swimming ability and swimming lessons: International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, Vol. 13 No. 3, September 2006, 139-143.

Sari N Harrar: Pool Rules: Prevention; Vol. 57 Issue 7, Jul 2005, p. 119-120
Irwin, R. Drayer, J., Irwin, C., Ryan, T. & Southall, R.: Constraints Impacting Minority Swimming Participation: Department of Health & Sports Sciences. The University of Memphis USA Swimming April 1, 2008 p.3 – 25.

Stathis Avramidis, Ron Butterly, David Llewellyn: Who Drowns? Lifesaving Risk Assessment of Swimming & other Aquatic Activities: Leeds Metropolitan University postgraduate conference 2006.

Palmer, Lynn: Safe Swimming: how to develop a site specific drowning prevention program in your aquatic facility. Parks & Recreation, Feb 1, 2005.

Carroll, Joan F. FACSM; Winters, Beatrice A.; Fulda, Kimberly G.; Espinoza, Anna; Brooks, Lorna; Johnson, Katandria L.; Pandya, Vishwam; Cardarelli, Roberto: Recreational Activity Participation In African American, Hispanic, And White Adults: North Texas Healthy Heart Study: 2742: Board# 136: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.Volume 41 (5) Supplement 1, May 2009, p 446

Donald W. Hastings, Sammy Zahran, Sherry Cable; Drowning In Inequalities Swimming and Social Justice: Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 36 No. 6, July 2006, p 894 – 915

William C. Cullp, Jr., M.D., & B. Chris Brewster, B.S., Peter Wernicki, M.D.: Drowning: Lifeguard Rescue and Resuscitation: The American Society of Anesthesiologists, 2010; 2009.

Browne ML, Lewis Michl El, Stark AD: Unintentional drownings among New York State residents, 1988-1994: Public Health Rep. 2003; 2003 Sep-Oct; 118 (5) :448- 58.

Anna E. Waller, BA, Susan P. Baker, MPH, and Andrew Szocka, MPH: Childhood Injury Deaths: National Analysis and Geographic Variations: American Journal of Public Health, March 1989, Vol. 79, No. 3.

Hal Morgenstern, PhD, Trista Bingham, MPH, MS, and Avid Reza, MPH: Effects of Pool Fencing Ordinances and Other Factors on Childhood Drowning in Los Angeles County, 1990-1995: American Journal of Public Health Vol. 90, No4, p. 595-600 April 2000.

Jonathan Howland, PhD, MPH, Ralph Hingson, ScD, Thomas W. Manione, PHD, Nicole Bell, ScD, MPH, and Sharon Bak, MPH: Why Are Most Drowning Victims Men? Sex Differences in Aquatic Skills and Behaviors: American Journal of Public Health Vol. 86 No. 1, January 1996 p. 93-96

Garen J. Wintemute, MD, MPH, Jess F Kraus, MPH, PHD, Stephen P Teret, JD, MPH, and Mona Wright, BS: Drowning in Childhood and Adolescence: A Population Based Study: American Journal of Public Health Vol. 77, No. 7. July 1987 p 830-832.

Carla L. Warneke, MS, and Sharon P. Cooper, PhD: Child and Adolescent Drowning in Harris County, Texas, 1983 through 1990: American Journal of Public Health Vol. 84. No.4, April 1994 p593-595.

Park E. Dietz, AB, Susan P. Baker, MPH: Drowning Epidemiology and Prevention: American Journal of Public Health Vol. 64, No. 4, April, 1974 p.303-312.

J Gilchrest, JJ Sacks, and C M Branche: Self Reported Swimming Ability in US Adults, 1994: Public Health Rep: 2000 Mar – Jun; 115 (2-3) 110-111.

Michael Davis and Charles Stewart: Identification of Personality Differences among Various Swimming Ability Groups by Sex:

3. Article in A Newspaper and Internet
Zinser, Lynn (2006, June 19). Everyone into the Water. The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/19/health/healthspecial/19swim.html

Hoose, Phillip (1990, April 29) A New Pool of Talent. The New York Times,

Michael Verive (2009, Apr 29) Near Drowning. http:://emedicine.medscape.com/article/908677-overview
Hi Jon,
By now I am sure you have gotten all the material you need to successfully complete your thesis. You may want to look at Regina Mobley's discssion on May 23, 2008, where she gives such information and even a toll free # to call. If not, email Regina yourself, and I am sure you will get what you need. With the plethora of info you received from Roberson, I am sure you have what you need. Good Luck My Friend. Darrick
Karen, have this student contact me please.


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