Student Saves Baby Using Goldfish Swim School Skills

As a parent, you do what you can to keep your kids safe – like enroll them in swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School – but have you considered that your decision could actually wind up saving someone’s life?

Ryan Fortier will never forget the images of what happened one day in Florida early in 2017, when his daughter, Marlee, pulled a baby from beneath the surface of the water. And had his daughter not taken swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School, things may have been a little different.

Why enroll in swimming lessons?

A couple years ago, Ryan and his wife Ashley moved into a new home with their three children Marlee (now 7), Odin (now 5) and Charlie (now 3). Their new home had a wonderful perk: A swimming pool! But because Ryan and Ashley didn’t have fond memories of learning to swim when they were kids – think cold water and the old “just throw them in” method of learning – they were uncertain about signing the kids up for lessons.

In making friends with neighbors, Ryan and Ashley heard lots of good things about Goldfish Swim School in Wexford, Pa. (like the 90-degree water temperature, and more!). The couple found that having a pool was a constant struggle with the kids because they “always” wanted to swim, and so they eventually signed the kids up for lessons at Goldfish Swim School.

“We figured, we might as well make the investment,” Ryan said. “It’s a safety thing first.”

Even though their pool was appropriately fenced off, they still wanted to know their kids would have the skills they’d need to get out of the water should anything happen.

It only takes a second.

If you have kids, so you know the havoc they can create while you’re in the bathroom – and you know things can change in an instant.

Ryan and his family were visiting his parents at a senior living community in Florida, and they spent time at the community pool one day. They ended up talking with another family: A mom, her 5-year-old, her 9-month-old, and their grandma. The mom was in the pool with her 5-year-old while grandma was sitting on the side of the pool with the baby, talking to Ryan’s mother.

“Then we looked over and Marlee is holding the baby in the water,” Ryan said. “My first reaction was, ‘what the heck are you doing?’ I thought she grabbed the baby.”
But that wasn’t the case.

“I pulled her out of the water,” Marlee told Ryan.

It turns out that Marlee saw the baby’s blue sun hat in the water, so she put on her goggles to swim over – and saw the baby underwater. So Marlee picked up the baby out of the water and brought her to the adults.

“Marlee got to her quick enough to where there wasn’t an issue – the baby was still breathing,” Ryan said. Crying, but OK.

It’s because of what Marlee learned during her swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School, Ryan said, that enabled Marlee to assess the situation and help.

“They teach them water safety, to keep your eyes open and to be aware of your surroundings,” Ryan said.

Because it only takes a second.

“The grandma was literally sitting right next to her,” Ryan said. “No one heard a splash. None of the 4 to 5 adults around heard anything. It really hit home of how quickly things like that can happen.”

Ryan’s kids love their swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School and have seen extraordinary results – but to Ryan, it’s a necessary life skill that helps keep kids safer in and around water.

“That’s why Goldfish is so important to us,” Ryan said. “We have to make this investment in our kids and start them in swimming lessons.”

Sign up today!

Find the Goldfish Swim School location near you and sign up for swimming lessons today! Our instructors use integrity, compassion and trust to teach kids as young as 4 months old how to swim. Our WOW! customer service ensures a GOLDEN experience every time – so come celebrate with us!

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