Posted Date: Wednesday, June 13, 2012

By Pam LeBlanc

By the time you read this blog, Jaime Slaughter will be hours into a 21-mile, dam-to-dam swim covering the length of Lake Austin.

He slipped into the chilly water of the lake just below Mansfield Dam at about 2:45 a.m. If all goes according to plan, he'll step out at Walsh Landing, just above the Tom Miller Dam, before 3 p.m. this afternoon.

That's one long swim — but he's doing it for a good cause.

Slaughter is attempting his swim on the four-year anniversary of the drowning death of 4-year-old Colin Holst.

Holst drowned in a crowded swimming pool at Life Time Fitness in South Austin. Slaughter was at the pool the day Colin drowned, and tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate the little boy. Today Slaughter serves as a board member of Colin's Hope, a non-profit organization that promotes water safety and drowning prevention.

Through his swim, Slaughter wants to raise awareness about water safety.

Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under age 5 and the number two cause of death among children ages 1 to 14. According to Colin's Hope, parents can keep children safer around water by keeping a constant visual supervision of them, teaching them to swim, making them wear life jackets and making sure there are multiple barriers between children and the water.

"With the summer months upon us, we want to remind families that drowning is preventable," says Alissa Magrum, executive director of Colin's Hope.

Slaughter will make his swim under the guidance of a crew of kayak water guardians, safety and medical support from The Expedition School. You can track his progress here.
For more information about Colin's Hope go here.