The staff at the British Swim School-East Valley in Gilbert recently staged a hero’s welcome for a 6-year-old Queen Creek boy who saved a 2-year-old boy from drowning.
The staff at the swim school, 3625 S. Gilbert Road, was so impressed when they heard about Rex Shaver’s quick thinking that they invited him to the pool to present him with a “Superhero of the Pool” certificate.
“He was given a hero’s welcome that included hand-shaking, high-fives, and thank yous from all of his fans at the pool,” a spokeswoman said, adding the boy also received a goodie bag.
On Aug. 7, Rex went to a friend’s house after school to play in the pool. The youngster learned how to swim as a toddler.
Rex was playing in the water when the toddler fell into the water without his water wings on. Although there were three adults in the water at the time, Rex was the only one who saw the baby fall.
He quickly got the child’s head above water and swam back to the edge of the pool to safety. His quick thinking and reasoning saved her life.
“Rex’s knowledge of water safety was so ingrained, that when he went home that night he didn’t even mention to his family what had happened,” the swim school spokeswoman said.
“His parents only found out when his friend’s mother called later in tears to tell them what Rex had done. His father Craig joked that when Rex’s mom Bethany got the call, they thought maybe he had done something mischievous. Little did they know that he had saved a life that day.”
Swim school owner Dejan SImurdic said, “That’s exactly why it’s important to teach water safety first and swimming second. “If you learn the basic skills to save your life in the water first, your chances of drowning decrease dramatically.
“At our school, we teach babies as young as 3 months old and all the way up to adults. We give our students a fighting chance to save their own lives should they fall into the water or even just get tired in the water while swimming,” Slmurdic added.
Swim school aquatics director Vicki King noted that Arizona has one of the highest drowning rates in the nation and that “Our children in Arizona drown at nearly double the national average.”