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Swimmer uses her head to promote water safety

April 24, 2009

Sun City resident Kathleen Lawrence is swimming around the world for a cause: to promote drowning prevention.

The advocate

Lawrence, 65, is an avid swimmer. She belongs to the Sun City Starrs swim team and competes in U.S. masters swimming competitions.

Her crusade began two years ago. In 2007, she swam from Alcatraz with a team of swimmers to promote water-safety awareness.

During her training since, she discovered she could balance a bottle of Gatorade on her forehead while swimming the backstroke. She realized she could use this trick to draw attention to drowning prevention.

What she does

Lawrence swims one mile at a time balancing a bottle on her forehead.

When people ask her what she is doing, Lawrence explains she is trying to spread awareness about drowning prevention. She encourages people to contact the Foundation for Aquatic Safety and Training, their local YMCA or their local swim club.

She has swum 35 miles in various locations, including Exit Glacier in Alaska, the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, the Seine River in France and the Colorado River.

Her goal is to swim 100 miles.

"I'm trying to get my 100 miles in, get attention to drowning prevention," she said. "Just because your kids take swim lessons doesn't mean they won't drown."

How you can help

To learn more about Lawrence's efforts, visit or send an e-mail to

For more information on water safety, visit the FAST Foundation Web site,, or the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Central Arizona Web site,


Reproduced with permission from:
The Arizona Republic
Sherry Anne Rubiano
©Copyright 2009 Arizona Republic

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