20 month old Taylor Mortiz loved the water but couldn’t swim, a scary combination. She fought her lessons, but eventually learned to appreciate her ability to back float, especially when she had to use it at the River. Taylor followed her dad out into the water, lost her footing…fell in and saved herself. When her father turned around, he found her floating confidently on her back and he simply picked her up with praise and relief.

3 year old Jamie Utz was riding her tricycle around the swimming pool, caught her wheel on the edge, fell in, back floated, rolled back over, swam to the wall, climbed out and was only upset because her precious tricycle had sunk to the bottom.

Nancy Knable was missing. Mom ran out to the pool and discovered her toddler back floating, fully clothed. Nancy continued her Watersafe Swim School lessons, grew up to enjoy competitive swimming, water polo & synchronized swimming. She eventually became a teacher at the school, a living testimonial to the effectiveness of the Smart Fish method.

After a panicky search for 11 month old Chad Wright, he was found peacefully back-floating in the family’s fenced pool. He had begun lessons at Watersafe at the age of 6 months.

Noah Kalpakoff, age 2, was found back-floating underneath his babysitter’s spa cover…safe because he learned the “survival turn and back-float” at Watersafe Swim School.

“Our 18 month old rolled over into a safe back-float position after stumbling in the water at Mother’s Beach…so glad he learned to swim during the spring so he could safely enjoy summer swimming.” – Adam Castro’s family

The full bathtub at the Munz home wouldn’t drain and was awaiting the assistance of a plumber. In the meantime, little 24 month old Westie was discovered missing and then found, back-floating the tub, hands under his head, just as he had been taught at Watersafe.

My husband Bob, Jack (2yrs, 3 months), and myself, Julie, went to McKenna’s on the Bay on Wednesday, July 16, 2008. We have been going there for years for appetizers and beverages as it is the perfect spot to enjoy a beautiful sunset at the end of a nice day. Since Jack has been born, he has been joining us too so he is well known to the staff and a great group of “regulars”. Well, this last Wednesday, we were doing our regular gig. We usually place our order and then one of us takes Jack for a walk along the water while we wait for our food. I volunteered to do the walking this time. Taking our common route, we walked along the sidewalk to the to the “Bay Boat” rentals and went down their gang plank to walk along their little dock. Their wooden dock is about 10 feet wide with water on both sides. One side is closest to the rocks and the shops; the other side is the channel. Jack is a great little guy and follows directions well so I’m never too worried although he is always by my side when we are down there. This day, a fishing boat had just come in so there were tons of seagulls (Jack’s favorite) as they were off loading the fish. We watched the workers and the boats for a while and then turned around to head back down the dock. About midway down, a huge beautiful seagull landed on one of the wooden cleats. As if in slow motion, Jack got about 4 steps ahead of me to look at the bird. He didn’t see the cleat and fell head first into the murky, disgusting water. It was about a 4 foot drop to the water’s surface. Immediately, his white blond hair disappeared in the water. Now, if someone had offered me $100 to jump into that water, I still don’t think I would do it but, that day, no hesitation. Sunglasses, sandals, et all and I was in too. Since I had lost a visual on him, I jumped in just past where he went in. I wasn’t sure if the current would take him under the dock or into the channel but I did know that I needed to be in that water too. Being heavier, I sunk deeper into the water but as I was coming up towards the surface with my eyes open (yuck, once again!!) I could see his silhouette framed against the sun streaming into the water. As I reached the surface, to my overwhelming joy, Jack was floating on his back and crying loudly. He was fully dressed in his linen shorts, striped polo shirt and sandals and yet, floating with his face above the water with a very hearty scream. The best scream I’ve ever heard!!! A man was cleaning one of the Duffy boat rentals and heard me yell as I jumped in. He ran to our aid as I reached Jack on the surface and had him in my arms in the water. Because it was about a 4 foot drop, I was able to hand Jack up to the man who pulled him onto the dock. He then assisted me getting up too. Between his now more quiet sobs, Jack said, “I’m wet!” Yes, he was wet but I could care less at that point. I thanked the man immensely for his help, picked up Jack and walked back up the gang plank to see what Daddy was doing. He was casually sipping his glass of chardonnay and enjoying the beautiful late afternoon. Standing on the sidewalk below where our table was, I was holding a scared Jack with both of us soaking wet. Kind of funny to look back on now. My husband couldn’t believe his eyes so as Jack and I rejoined him at the table, we told him what had just taken place.
Now, the best part of this story, if there is one, is that Jack has been taking swim lessons for the last 4 months. Not just regular swim lessons though. He has been taking them at the Water Safe Swim School in Seal Beach where they teach even the smallest of infants how to be safe in the water. Their method teaches them to float on their back if they are inadvertently in a water situation. Jack loves the water but yet he does cry when it is lesson time. Even though I HATE the fact that he cries when we go, I do now know that all the crying has paid off in the fact that I know this has all sunk in. In a scary situation, fully dressed and faced with being in the water, he knew what to do. After we were both safely out of the water and I was explaining to Bob what had just happened, we were both so thankful that Jack has the knowledge. In no means does this replace vigilance; it is definitely a safe guard to my sweetest baby being safe though. I shudder at what could have happened but am so thankful for the way it turned out in the end. Anyways, that is our story. I now know that all the crying is so very worth it in the end!!Very thankfully yours,
Julie, Bob & Jack Snow