Renewed concern about accidental drownings as pools begin to open
As thousands of backyard and neighborhood pools begin to open for the approaching summer season, there is a renewed concern about accidental drownings and water safety.
Rich Specht, of Sound Beach, lost his young son to drowning and is now on a mission to save others. Rees Specht was just 22 months old when he wandered into the family's backyard pond in 2012. He drowned in just 18 inches of water.
“I don't want someone else to be me. I don't want someone else to find themselves in this position,” says Specht.
Since then, Specht has teamed up with Saf-T-Swim in Coram to educate about drowning prevention. At Saf-T-Swim, babies as young as 2 months old are introduced to the pool.
“There is no fear when they're first born of being in the water. They've been in water for nine months, they just got out, and it's a perfect, natural environment for them. So it's important to get them in soon,” says Jim Hazen, the company’s founder.
Another important step to preventing drowning is making sure every adult knows exactly who has their eyes on the pool.
Just days ago, Olympic skier Bode Miller's 19-month-old daughter drowned in a friend's pool.