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  1. ITV Report

Mother of drowned boy backs safe swim scheme

A mother whose son drowned while swimming in a North Wales river is backing a scheme teaching children how to stay safe in open water.

Debbie Turnbull's son Christopher drowned in 2006 after becoming trapped underwater swimming in the Pont Cyfryng Falls in Gwynedd.

Debbie will today be joining hundreds of school children taking part in the Swim Safe scheme in Plas Menai Outdoor Centre near Caernarfon. The scheme is being run by the RNLI, Swim Wales and the Amateur Swimming Association.

Debbie has been a tireless water safety campaigner since her son's death.

Christopher lost his life swimming in a spot he had been to many times before and knew well and he was a strong swimmer. You can be a really confident pool swimmer but swimming in open water brings its own challenges. So, it’s really important that both children and parents know the dangers of open water swimming and how to stay safe.

I am 100% behind the Swim Safe programme as it’s great to see the RNLI, the ASA and Swim Wales all pulling together to increase education about water safety for children.

So many children are learning skills to help keep them safe in the open water and judging on today’s evidence it looks like they’re having great fun at the same time.

– Debbie Turnbull

There are all sorts of environmental factors to consider when you’re swimming outdoors and it’s important that children know how to call for help if they get into trouble.

It is great to be the first place in Wales to run the Swim Safe scheme and we’re delighted so many children are here learning vital safety tips and techniques for swimming in the open water in time for the summer holidays.

– Hope Filby, Swim Safe Coordinator