Dramatic footage shows heroic brothers saving a 7-year-old boy from drowning
"I saw him and knew he wasn't okay."
Shocking footage out of Fenton, Michigan, reminds everyone never to take their eyes off a swimming child—especially one who is using floaties and is not an experienced swimmer.
Griffin Emerson, 7, was swimming in the shallow end of an apartment pool wearing floaties when he decided to remove them and play in the deeper end of the pool. "I just wanted to prove myself. Like, yeah, I can actually swim and stuff," Griffin said, according to Good Morning America.
After struggling to keep his head above water, Griffin sank to the bottom of the pool.
"I saw him, and I just knew that he wasn't OK," Noah Roche, 12, said. "I saw him at the bottom of the pool, and then I didn't know if he was just playing down there or something. So I just told Weston to get in and dive down to see if he's OK."
"His head was going up and down. I knew he wasn't OK," Noah’s brother, Weston Woods, 8, added.
Weston jumped into the pool and pulled Griffin to the surface, but he was unconscious. Griffin’s mother ran over to the boy and began performing CPR. The boy eventually spat up the pool water and regained consciousness. He was taken to the emergency room and released 36 hours later after a full recovery.
The boys were recognized for their heroic efforts at a ceremony attended by Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson, who gave the boys a packet of books and $100 each for a shopping spree. Swanson also recognized the dispatchers, EMTs, firefighters and deputies who assisted in the rescue.
Griffin’s family was also on hand to congratulate the brave brothers.
"Griffin had a little problem in the swimming pool," Griffin's grandfather said during a Facebook Live video shared by the Genesee County Sheriffs. "And these two young men right here saved him, got him from the bottom of the pool and brought him to the side of the pool. They're my heroes."
Noah's answer was simple when asked why he helped with the rescue. “I just thought it was the right thing,” he said, according to WNEM.
The news out of Michigan comes after a recent rise in warnings about floatie safety. Jim Spiers, co-founder and CEO of SwimJim and president of the nonprofit Stop Drowning Now, told Today.com that floaties "don't always work."
"Kids can slip them off their arms, they can tip over, so it's a huge issue," Spiers continued. "They're an aid — they're not a rescue device, and parents should not look at them as a rescue device or as the babysitter in the pool."
Sheriff Swanson took the occasion as an opportunity to make sure that children are supervised at all times while swimming. “We are in the season of Fourth of July and summer fun and parties, and you can never take your eye off a lake, a pond, a river, a pool a kiddie pool. Assign someone to that water,” Swanson said. “Learn CPR if you don’t know it.”