Can you pass the LWSS swim test?

Published 1:00 pm Saturday, July 8, 2023

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Before sailors climb aboard one of the Little Washington Sailing School’s boats, they have to prove their swimming skills. 

Each sailor is required to complete a swim test before they learn to sail and is required by the Sailing School and U.S. Sailing Association. To pass the test, kids have to swim 25 yards choosing from either the front crawl, breaststroke, side stroke, elementary backstroke, back crawl or butterfly. They also have to tread water for three minutes.Students are required to swim without a life jacket, but have to put one on while in the water, according to the Sailing School’s registration for youth classes. 

On average, youth students are between the ages of 9 and 18; therefore, many already know how to swim. In the event a student doesn’t know how to swim, the Sailing School takes them to a pool where they can learn. After learning how to swim in a pool, some students are hesitant to swim in the river, because they neither can see nor touch the bottom. Instead, they are taken to a sandbar where the water is only four feet deep, Clancy shared.

The Little Washington Sailing School, 501(c)3 nonprofit, was created in 2008 by sailing enthusiasts to show children and adults the joy of recreational sailing along the Washington Waterfront and Pamlico River.