Most summertime fun starts with water. Whether swimming, boating, or going to a water park, everyone should know the basics of water safety. The Red Cross offers courses for personal safety and swimming for all ages, safety in small water craft, and courses leading to certification in lifeguarding. The best part about taking a Red Cross Course is that while you are learning you are also helping the Red Cross’ mission to provide compassionate care to those in need. So if you are learning to swim, learning to play safe, or learning to save lives, you can ensure that your dollars go farther with the Red Cross.

Swimming & Water Safety
Safety Training for Swim Coaches
Aquatic Instructor Training
Lifeguard Management
CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers and Healthcare Providers
Small Craft Safety



Blended Learning

Blended Learning




Longfellow's WHALE Tales

Longfellow WHALE Tales is taught to raise children’s awareness of safe behavior in, on and around the water. This is a free course that can be taught by any Aquatic Leader, Instructor, or School Teacher. WHALE Tales can be taught without a pool and is a great rainy day activity for Schools, Summer Camps, and during Swimming Lessons.

You can learn more about Longfellow's WHALE Tales here.


Swimming and Water Safety

The Red Cross has a long history of promoting water safety through local swimming lessons and awareness and education of safety needs around pools and open water.

Find out more about swimming and water safety, including a list of Red Cross Learn-to-Swim instructors, here.


A Century in Aquatics

For the past century, the American Red Cross has helped millions of people learn to swim and be water smart. To honor our 100 years of water safety we launched the Centennial Campaign – a multi-year action to lower drowning rates by 50% in 50 local communities where those rates exceed the national average.

Find out more or get involved here.

manager talking to staff

Can't Find the Answer? - Ask Your Aquatics Representative

American Red Cross aquatics programs are offered throughout the country. Your local Red Cross aquatics representative can answer any questions you may have.

To contact your local aquatics representative, click this link.

Why Train with the Red Cross

Red Cross Training Saves Lives

Reid Heiser, Life Saver

One week after 17-year-old Reid completed his Red Cross CPR training, he needed to use it. In November 2011, Reid saved the life of Jim Hammer after he collapsed at the recreation center where Reid worked. Now friends, they share their story.

Red Cross training matters.

For more than a century, we've prepared people to respond to emergencies of all sizes - from the everyday to the large disaster. Join the millions we train every year and learn the skills that can safe a life.

  • "Without my friend's training, I would not be here" - watch Bre Dumke's story
  • "I'm really glad she survived that" - watch the Snyder Family's story
  • Certification Made Simple. Fast. Easy. Digital.

    The American Red Cross makes certification fast, simple and easy. With Red Cross Digital Certificates you get anytime, anywhere access to your certificates; plus print, share, and download wherever and whenever you like. Digital certificates can be viewed, printed or shared online and can be accessed anytime through your Red Cross Account. Each certificate includes a unique ID and a QR code which meets employment requirements and allows employers to easily confirm your certificate is valid. Class participants and employers can visit and enter the ID found on the digital certificate (or scan the QR code with a standard QR reader using a smart device) to access a copy of the valid certificate with student training information. Click here for instructions on accessing your certificate.