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Sunday Survival Story!: "This is why we ISR"

Every Sunday, we will share a story of a non-lethal drowning, discuss where things went wrong, and give some pointers on how to prevent it from happening to the people you love.

Thankfully, these stories have happy endings for those involved, but sadly, we lose too many people to drowning every year. We hope examining these real-life stories help put the dangers of water into perspective and help you introduce various principles of water safety to your family!

In today’s story, we are following a typical day for the Hollerbach family, as they enjoy an afternoon of bonding around the swimming pool. Knowing the importance of high quality swimming lessons, and being active, responsible adults watching the kids near the water, mom and dad feel prepared as they throw ball with their children near the pool.

"We took the kids swimming to burn some energy. Kyle was standing on the ledge seat playing catch with his dad. The ball landed in front of him, just far enough away for him to take a step forward. Boom, he stepped off and fell in over his head. Not even a second went by and he was in FULL FLOAT MODE. No panicking. Just floating in a perfect little starfish back float, BREATHING and floating.

THIS is why we ISR!!! My 2yr old can save his life in the water. What could've been traumatizing for a child that would panic and possibly fear swimming after that, was instead a perfect example of why ISR is so important. And why floaties will NOT save them in an emergency. My babies are prepared!!! I often wondered how they'd respond outside of swim class. Now I know without a doubt.

We cannot thank Kym Smith Cragel enough for teaching and caring so much for our kids and hundreds of others."

We love seeing stories like this, where a family is prepared and has taught their children the necessary skills in case of an emergency. Thanks to ISR lessons, this 2-year-old was able to float and survive what may have easily become a fatal drowning. We are so proud of you Kyle!

Could your children float if they unexpectedly found themselves in water or were suddenly in fast moving, dangerous water? If not, please make it a family goal to learn to float this swim season; time in the pool learning water safety is a great way to bond!

To find out if ISR swim lessons are available in your area, check out:

Other approved high quality swim lessons include:

Survival Swim Development Network

These lessons aren't in your area? Check out this article from Parents Preventing Childhood Drownings and ask the right questions to find the best swim lessons near you!

We want all children to be successfully skilled with the ability to self-rescue in an emergency. We believe these types of swimming lessons are the missing link in the childhood drowning endemic. Let's change the statistic and change our attitude about water. Skills before thrills.

We are glad for the Hollerbach family that their fun day didn’t end in tragedy, and we hope you can use Kyle’s experience as inspiration to better your floating skills today. Have fun and be safe when you are near the water!

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