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ELIZABETH CITY, NC (AP) — The Coast Guard has dedicated a $24 million center in Elizabeth City to train rescue swimmers.

The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reported that the center that was dedicated Wednesday will replace a 68-year-old swimming pool that officials say was too small and too shallow to simulate actual missions.

The new facility includes not only a deeper pool but also the Coast Guard’s first trainer to simulate things like high winds, roaring water and the sounds of helicopter rotor blades.

Rear Adm. Ronald Rabago says enthusiastic young Coast Guard men and women will enter the facility and emerge as well-trained, well-prepared professionals that will go to air stations around the country.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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