top of page
  • Writer's pictureNatalie Jones Pantaleon

Survival Skills in Action! Two year old falls in pool, fully clothed and is able to save himself!

This awesome story comes to us from Zulai Gretz, mother of Bennett, in Cape Coral, FL.

Please read what this grateful and proud mama wrote about her son's incredible story.

My son has been taking ISR lessons with Judy Fernandez since before he turned 1 (he will be 3 in a few weeks). About a month ago, my little guy, Bennett, fell in our pool accidentally. We were playing out by the pool and had the safety gates down (as we typically do when we’re all outside hanging out). My husband and I were sitting within a few feet of our little guy during this whole story. Bennett is usually extremely mindful and cautious around the pool but he was walking backward being silly, walked right over the ledge, and fell backward into the pool fully clothed. He immediately flipped himself around and over into his float. My husband jumped in after him because we got scared but Bennett did exactly was he was trained by Judy to do! You never hope your child will have to use their skills in a real life situation but I am forever indebted to Judy for teaching him the invaluable skills that he displayed so well that morning. I realize had the situation been different in many ways, the outcome could have been devastating. After my husband got him out of the pool, Bennett asked to get his bathing suit on and we had a wonderful morning swimming, jumping into the pool, and practicing his float. I cannot thank Judy enough for all she’s taught Bennett and will sing ISR praises to every parent I know and always recommend ISR lessons for all my friends children.


   Zulai Gretz

From the PPCD, our profound gratitude for how Bennett's story unfolded and that it was one of safety, accomplishment and pride. Secondly, we are extremely grateful to his Mom, Zulai, for sharing his story. It's this type of sharing that can truly have a significant impact on ending drownings in our communities.

We also want to give this family kudos for implementing Layers of Protection around the water. Supervision was in place. Pool gate was up. Bennett received survival swim lessons. In an instant, Bennett got to show himself that he knew exactly what to do! For that, we are so grateful!

This event happens every day, usually without the supervision that was present in this case. When a child falls into a body of water, it can either result in a massive tragedy or an experience that empowers the child. When the child knows what to do, from the training received, there is no panic and the child develops a strong trust of self. We must prepare our children for this very common event. Eleven children a day reach the water unsupervised and the outcome is based on whether the child knows how to handle it. Specifically, our children must be taught what to do if they fall into any body of water. This includes having breath control, knowing how to float, and eventually how to identify a way out and how to swim there. For more information on high quality swim lessons, please visit

410 views0 comments


bottom of page