Two young boys from Michigan are receiving praise for their heroic act of rescuing another boy from drowning in a swimming pool. Noah Roche, aged 12, and his 8-year-old brother, Weston Woods, were present at an apartment swimming pool when they noticed 7-year-old Griffin Emerson in distress.
Griffin had initially been playing in the shallow end of the pool wearing floaties but decided to remove them and ventured towards the pool’s deep end. “I just wanted to prove myself. Like, yeah, I can actually swim and stuff,” Griffin explained. However, in surveillance footage provided by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office to ABC News, Griffin can be seen struggling to keep his head above water.
Despite the presence of other individuals nearby, Griffin’s predicament went unnoticed for nearly a full minute as he gradually sank to the bottom of the pool. “I saw him and I just knew that he wasn’t OK,” Noah recalled. “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.”
Weston confirmed his brother’s concern, saying, “His head was going up and down. I knew he wasn’t OK.” Without hesitation, Weston leaped into the water and reached down to bring Griffin back to the surface of the pool.
Griffin’s mother, Sylese Roche, immediately dialed 911, informing the operator that Griffin wasn’t breathing, had turned blue, and required CPR. “His mom ran over to him and instantly started CPR,” Sylese Roche recounted. Fortunately, Griffin eventually began to breathe again, as captured in the surveillance video, while his mother comfortingly rubbed his back, helping him cough up the water he had ingested.
Reflecting on the incident, Griffin expressed his fear of drowning, stating, “I was scared I was gonna drown. It felt all weird. I spit out some water, and that’s it.” Remarkably, within 36 hours of the incident, Griffin was discharged from the hospital after making a full recovery.
Sheriff Christopher R. Swanson of Genesee County, Michigan, commended the quick actions of Noah and Weston, stating, “By getting him to breathe on his own that fast, that’s the best possible outcome. And that’s why we celebrate the story.” Recognizing their bravery, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office held a special ceremony where Noah and Weston reunited with Griffin and the first responders involved.
Griffin’s grandfather, Tom Kinczkowski, expressed his gratitude towards the young heroes, saying, “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.”
To prevent drowning incidents, the Genesee County sheriff shared three essential tips for the general public to keep in mind.