Aquaphobia is defined as a fear of water which interferes with everyday life or cannot be controlled. The fear is often triggered by a traumatic incident such as being pushed into deep water or falling off a boat.
It is a different fear from not being able to swim. While both fears can be addressed, they need to be dealt with differently. Once you can swim, you won't be afraid any more.
Fear of swimming
Fear of swimming centers around the logical idea that you might drown. If you get into deep water and you can't swim, no one would suggest that your fear is illogical.
This is different from the poor aquaphobic who dreads any body of water including the bathtub.
There's nothing to be afraid of
There's little you could say which is less help. If someone is afraid, your bravado means nothing. One way to overcome a fear of swimming is to take private swimming lessons. If you were on the receiving end of a push into the deep end from the school bully, learning to swim away from a pool full of people might be just what you need.
The only people with innate water confidence are babies. We have all seen the babies in the water seemingly unconcerned with their heads under the water and their eyes wide open.
If you don't catch the feeling early enough, we all can somehow grow out of the confidence and develop a fear. Hence the popularity of parents and baby swimming classes.
It's also possible to be confident swimming in a pool but feel less confident swimming in the sea or a lake.
Fear of swimming can be overcome
Remember, the fear of swimming is logical and probably can be overcome by learning how to swim. Fear of water needs a little more consideration.