By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It won’t be long before swimming pools and beaches open. But there are a lot of folks out there who won’t be jumping in because they don’t know how to swim.

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A nonprofit swimming organization has launched a campaign to change that.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a third of American adults are unable to swim the length of a standard size pool. Now, US Masters Swimming is trying to reduce that figure by way of an army of volunteer instructors.

Executive Director Rob Butcher says many of them will try to help non-swimmers overcome their fear.

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“Their intent is not so much to teach you how to stroke and how to swim but just first become comfortable in the water. And it could take a process, 10-12, 16 lessons just depending on where your fear is at.”

Butcher says those less fearful need only about four lessons to pick it up.

USMS has more than 20 instructors in the Philadelphia area. The YMCA and local rec centers also offer low or no-cost lessons.

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