Judah Brown Project info@judahbrownproject.org

Amy Brittan

Dear Judy,

My husband and I are avid sailors, and our children have spent lots of time on boats. Our family went on a two month sailing cruise and island hopped our boat from Antiqua down to Trinidad in the Caribbean. Charlie, age 5 and Camille, age 2, loved living on their floating home. Although they both began swimming with you as babies, we insisted that they wear life jackets whenever they were on deck and sent them below in rough seas and for sail changes.

When we reached Trinidad, my husband and I were very busy “putting the boat to bed” — preparing it for hurricane storage out of the water. The marina where we worked had a wonderful pool but the water in the marina was deep, black, oily and rank — teeming with tennis ball jelly fish. Every day we scrubbed the boat in the morning and swam in the pool in the afternoon. To get to the pool, we walked on a series of wide concrete docks built 5 feet above the water. Perhaps due to the familiarity of our routine, I began to be less vigilant and allowed my children to walk along the docks without holding my hands, which were loaded down with pool toys.

On one of these typical days, Camille (age 2) turned to tell me something, slipped off the edge of the dock and fell 5 feet into the oily water. Instantly, she disappeared beneath the water’s black surface. I was paralyzed with fear, unable to move. At that instant, I was consumed by thoughts of my daughter being stung by the multitude of jelly fish. It seemed like hours before she popped up to the surface, safely floating on her back, breathing normally. Before I could react to the accident, a man working on a neighboring boat did a perfect swan dive into the ocean (over the concrete dock), swam over to Camille, picked her up and handed me my shaken but very much alive little girl.

Camille likes to tell us how she went straight to the bottom and how the jelly fish told her that they wouldn’t sting. She still loves swimming in the ocean.

We enrolled both of our children in your program to prevent a tragedy from occurring. I believe that Infant Aquatics and your excellent teaching saved my daughter’s life. We’re looking forward to seeing you for a short refresher before our next cruise.

Originally published at: https://infantaquatics.com/baby-swimming-lessons/documented-survival-stories . Used with permission.