'I've never swam in the ocean': Retiree calls for lessons
NOLA Taylor has lived in Hervey Bay for 37 years but has never swam in the ocean.
She's dipped her toe in the water's edge but at 70, has never felt the salty water wash through her hair or jumped over the waves before they crash on the shore.
All because she never learned how to swim.
Now, she wants kids in school to have the opportunity to learn how to swim and supports a new campaign calling for the Queensland government to incorporate swimming into the school curriculum.
The Fraser Coast Chronicle, along with 45 other News Queensland publications launched the S.O.S. 'Save Our Schoolkids' campaign amid a spike in child drownings.
The campaign calls on the State Government to introduce compulsory swimming and water safety lessons in Queensland primary schools.
Mrs Taylor believed her inability to swim stemmed from an incident when she was younger.
"At one stage I was learning to swim and I was coming out of the pool and someone pushed me into the middle," she said.
"Since then I always feared going into the water.
This fear has also kept her from going on a boat.
"I always think if I fall overboard, I would drown and the person who would come to save me would drown too because I'd panic," she said
Mrs Taylor and her husband, Bruce moved to Hervey Bay from Western Queensland in 1981 with their two sons who attended a school where swimming lessons were compulsory.
"I think it's a wonderful idea for students to learn to swim in school," Mrs Taylor said.
"When our boys were going to school they had swimming lessons at school and all the kids had to learn to swim.
"We have so many dams around here and the ocean so its concerning kids don't get to swim at school."
Each year, Mrs Taylor has planned to conquer the fear which has impacted her quality of life but something has always held her back.
She hopes this will be the push she needs and plans go to a swim school which specialises in teaching adults.