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SAN DIEGO — The city of San Diego will launch its annual portable pool program at the City Heights Recreation Center Monday to offer free swimming and water safety lessons to children.

The pool will remain at the City Heights Recreation Center and four other local recreation centers for three weeks apiece before moving to the next facility. At each stop, the city will provide weeklong water safety classes to kids ages 3-15. The city can accommodate up to 100 children per week at each facility.

The city launched the portable pool program in 1968 to prevent children from drowning and offer water safety training to residents who may not live close enough to one of the city’s 13 public pools to take swimming lessons there.

“Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in children ages one to 14 and is the leading cause of accidental injury death for children ages one to four years old,” said Nicole McNeil, the supervising recreation specialist for the city’s aquatics program. “The city is offering these important free classes to help young children learn basic swimming skills to keep them safe around pools and prevent unnecessary drowning tragedies.”

To enroll their children in swim lessons at any of the five planned portable pools, parents can fill out an application form at and bring it to one of the five applicable recreation centers. Residents can visit for more information on the city’s pools and aquatics programs.