Making life jackets ‘cool' to save lives

Colin's Hope was founded after 4-year old Colin Holst of Austin who drowned.

AUSTIN - Texas is among the deadliest states for child drownings, which is why Austin-based organization Colin’s Hope held free swimming lessons on Thursday.

The lessons at Lakeway Swim Center were part of the "World's Largest Swimming Lesson," an annual event that takes place in more than 20 different countries on five continents over the course of 24 hours.

Colin’s Hope was founded after 4-year-old Colin Holst of Austin drowned.

Now organizers want to stress the importance of life jackets. That's something Brooke Miller understands. Two of her friends nearly drowned at a birthday party just last week.

"It was so scary to them. They were trying to save each other and both of them, they didn't know how to swim that well,” said Miller.

Miller was one of the dozens of kids learning how to swim with professional lifeguards.

Colin’s Hope also asked people to help paint brand new life jackets that will be available for anyone to use at Lakeway City Park.

Executive Director for Colin's Hope, Elissa Magrum said one of their goals is to make life jackets a “normal” thing to wear, even for those that already know how to swim.

"One thing we're trying to do is make life jackets cool to wear. Similar to bike helmets or seat belts -- we want life jackets to be just like that,” said Magrum.

The life jackets range in size from infant to adult and they’re expected to be available by the 4th of July weekend at Lakeway City Park.

To learn more about Colin’s Hope and Colin’s story, go here.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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