FARMINGTON — The Farmington Fire Department's Eric Hickerson stood on Saturday at the edge of the pool at the Farmington Aquatic Center.

"Most accidents happen within 10 feet of shore," he told a group of three children.

Hickerson was teaching the children about boat safety during Water Safety Weekend.

He then got into a raft in the pool and helped Alyssa Charley, 9, Secody Charley, 11, and their cousin Alexis Sandoval, 10, climb aboard.

After paddling around the pool for a while, he taught the children what to do if they fall out of a raft and how to help people who tumble out get back on board.

Alyssa and Secody's mother, Natasha Charley, watched the action from a distance.

"They like to be around water, and I would like them to know a little about safety before getting into the water," she said.

The Charley family's house is surrounded by ditches, which makes the mother nervous for her children.

"I'm always telling them not to go near it," she said.

She said her children often ask why they aren't allowed to play in the ditch. The information provided during Water Safety Weekend helped answer their questions. In addition to the boat safety training, Alyssa, Secody and Alexis saw pictures that showed them how dangerous water can be.

While the trio enjoyed the water, Venezia and Bill Hays grabbed a bite to eat with their daughter, Adriana Lopez, 11, at the pancake breakfast.

Venezia Hays and her daughter recently moved to Farmington from Fort Worth, Texas, to join Bill Hays.

Adriana said she loves swimming.

"She's been asking to come here every day," Bill Hays said.

While Adriana has been begging to go to the aquatic center since moving to Farmington about a week ago, Saturday was the first day the family spent at the pool.

Venezia Hays said she was looking at the aquatic center's website when she saw information about Water Safety Weekend.

"We thought this would be a good event to get her feet wet, both literally and figuratively," Venezia Hays said.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.