WARNING - DISTRESSING CONTENT: Horrifying CCTV has highlighted just how quickly and silently drownings can happen, with a child slipping underwater in the presence of five other swimmers.
One adult on an inflatable pool toy even drifts right over the top of the boy without noticing his struggle on the pool floor at the apartment complex.
The distressing footage from June 20 was released by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office in the US state of Michigan, showing the moment seven-year-old Griffin Emerson tries to swim in the deep end after taking off his floaties.
As he fights to keep his head above water, another adult swims underwater right past him and two children walk by on the edge of the pool, all completely unaware of the deadly situation occurring just a metre away from them.
After almost a full minute, two young brothers notice Griffin’s lifeless body on the bottom of the pool and one jumps in to save him. He’s pulled to the edge of the pool, where his mother desperately performs CPR, with Griffin eventually coughing up water and breathing on his own again.
Young rescuers rewarded by sheriff
The two boys who spotted Griffin in the pool were later recognised by Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson, who rewarded them with $100 each for their bravery.
Noah Roche, 12, and Weston Woods, 8, said they knew something was wrong when they noticed Griffin under water.
"I saw him and I just knew that he wasn't OK," Noah told ABC News. "I saw him at the bottom of the pool and then I didn't know if he was just playing down there or something. So I just told Weston to get in and dive down to see if he's OK.”
The younger brother then jumped in and pulled Griffin to the surface.
Noah and Weston were reunited with Griffin as the sheriff handed over their rewards, with Griffin’s grandfather also sharing a heartfelt message to the two rescuers.
"Weston and Noah, you know, they hold a special place in my heart. And they basically saved Griffin. A lot of my heroes don't wear capes. And they are two of them," Tom Kinczkowski said, according to ABC News.
Tips to avoid drowning situations:
Know your surroundings
Teach your children what to look for and how to swim
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