Sakana Pool makes a big splash

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Looking for a place to cool off from the sun and maybe get a tan? The Sakana Pool is the place to go.

"The pool's opening had a beautiful turnout for its first day," said Ms. Tony Valigura, 374th Services Squadron aquatics director. "The pool remained near full capacity from 11:30 a.m. until it closed at 6 p.m."

The opening coincided with summer break due to the increased availability of life guards.

"The Sakana Pool opened in mid-June after the Yokota schools got out for summer break because high school students are employed as lifeguards," said Ms. Valigura. "This is also when the weather is best for outdoor swimming."

"It was a very successful grand opening with more than 350 people coming out to swim," said Jeff Dickerhoof, Sakana pool lead guard. "Everybody on the lifeguard staff worked really hard to make the opening an amazing event."

"The Sakana pool is open to people 11 and older with a valid Department of Defense identification card. However, children 10 and younger must be accompanied by an adult," said Ms. Valigura. "Also, children six and younger, or that do not know how to swim, must be accompanied by an adult in the pool at all times, even if wearing a life jacket."

The Sakana pool, which is located on the west side of Yokota Air Base behind the Taiyo, is open daily for recreational swim from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is open through Labor Day. The pool measures 25 meters with six lanes and goes 11.9 feet deep. The pool also has a one-foot diving board and a three-foot diving board

"The Sakana pool is a good place to go relax, take a swim and beat the sun," said Ms. Valigura.