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A legacy of swim safety with Sal’s Summer of Swim

Posted at 6:51 AM, May 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-02 17:29:31-04

As temperatures rise and summer quickly approaches, families will flock to the water to cool down and enjoy their time off.

And knowing how to be safe in and near bodies of water, whether a pool or lake, is an important part of being prepared for the Summer.

KATC’s Katie Lopez was LIVE at the Robicheaux Center in Lafayette with more on Sal’s Summer of Swim and Water Safety Day.

It’s been a year and a half since Sal Diesi passed away. In that time, his friends and family have taken his love of the water and are passing it on to others.

Memories are what keep Ainsley Diesi coming back to the pool year after year.

“He taught me how to swim when I was younger,” says Ainsley. “I remember him teaching me the same ways, laying on my back. I really feel like he’s with me when I’m doing it.”

In November of 2017 Ainsley’s father, Sal, passed away.
an unimaginable time for Ainsley, her family, and those who knew sal best.

But through it all, they knew there was one way to get through that difficult time and that was swimming.

“He loved the sport of swimming and he enjoyed it and thought it was so much fun,” she says.

Sal’s Summer of Swim was born, making its debut last summer.

“Last year we gave away 150 lessons and this year we’re going to almost double that to 250 to 300 lessons,” says Sarah Landreneau of COLA. “We’re hoping to give more people an opportunity.”

Mostly underprivileged, the kids get a chance to jump into the pool non-swimmers and come out knowing how to save their lives and those around them.

“He would definitely be so touched and moved by us doing this,” Landreneau says.

Ainsley says each time she steps into that pool she thinks of her dad.

“I just only want him to be proud of me,” she says.

And while Sal may not be here physically to watch Ainsley jump into that pool and teach others, what he taught her so many years ago remains.

He is there with her, guiding her as she teaches kids the basics of water safety.

Water Safety Day happens on Sunday, May 5 at the Robicheaux Center in Lafayette. Swim lessons will be held from 1 pm to 3 pm and are free for the whole family.