Ollie Boswell tripped and fell into the pool on the first day of the family’s holiday on the Balearic Island.
But after having had special swimming lessons on a Water Babies course at Frank Wise School, Banbury, he was able to splash himself to the edge.
Now his family has thanked the Water Babies teachers for helping their son to help himself.
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Parents Laura and Jamie took their two little ones, Ollie and three-month-old Lily, on a family holiday abroad, keen to enjoy some summer sunshine for the first time since before the pandemic.
"We decided to spend the first afternoon lounging around the pool. Within seconds of arriving, Ollie chased ahead of his dad to get poolside and fell in,” said Mrs Boswell.
"It all happened so fast but Ollie wasn’t fazed at all. He just bobbed back up to the surface, swam to the side and monkeyed along the side of the pool and back to Jamie. We got him out of the pool, wrapped him in a towel and both told him how proud we were. I think we were more shocked than he was – he couldn’t wait to get back in.”
Monkeying is a Water Babies reference for grabbing on to the side or parent, a life-saving skill he had learnt from his lessons.
“We’ve always been adamant that our children learnt how to swim at a young age and I’m so glad we acted on it. It’s just such a key life-skill and our experience is proof of that,” said Mrs Boswell.
"Although Jamie was not very far away and ready to intervene had Ollie got into real difficulty, we were both so proud that he was able to think quickly and get himself to safety.”
Only 30 per cent of parents feel confident that their child knows how to stay safe in and around the water. The Boswells are in the minority that feel safe in the knowledge that their child would know what to do during a worst-case scenario.
And they are keen to tell other parents how important baby swimming is. Mr and Mrs Boswell put Ollie’s bravery and initiative down to the lifesaving skills picked up during his swimming lessons, which the family started when Ollie was just three months old.
“Although we would have made sure he was safe, that second or two longer in the pool could have been detrimental to his safety,” said Mrs Boswell.
"Lily is already following in her big brother’s footsteps, having just started at Water Babies lessons at Sibford School.”
Tamsin Brewis, owner of Water Babies, said: “While our sessions are a lot of fun, our entire programme is built around equipping our swimmers with the skills they need to feel confident and capable in the water.
"I was so proud when I had heard how Ollie had jumped into action that day but I can’t say I was surprised. From what I’ve seen during our sessions, he absolutely loves the water and has proven that at every lesson.”
For more information visit https://www.waterbabies.co.uk/lp/baby-swimming/bucks-and-beds