VOICES: Cooler heads prevail in scary situation

When cousin almost drowns, Abigail Escanlar steps in to save the day

Abigail Escanlar, Staff Writer




“Abby, get Brianna, turn around!”

I saw the little 5-year-old girl struggling for air, flailing in the middle of my grandma’s pool.

My uncle, her dad, stood there watching her, yelling at me. Brianna and I had been swimming a little earlier, and she was bragging that she already knew how to swim.

“You’re too young to already know how to swim,” I told her.

“I know how to swim,” she tells me again. “I don’t need floaties.”

I watched her practice staying close to the ledge, but then she went too far out. Suddenly, she couldn’t reach the ledge, and it was up to me to get her. I jumped in nearly where she was, and swam under her and grabbed her waist, but as soon as I grabbed her, she pulled me down. Suddenly, I couldn’t breathe either, but I tried my best to swim towards the shallow part of the pool where she could reach the bottom.

All I could think was “Keep Brianna’s head above the water,” and “I can’t breathe,” and “I told that girl that she can’t swim.” I finally reached the stairs and she climbed out to her dad.

She was crying. I tried to comfort her.

“Oh my gosh, Brianna, you pulled me down with you, we would have drowned together,” I laughed, and held my hand to my heart, and breathed hard pretending to grab some air.

She laughed and wiped her tears as she walked inside with my uncle and my grandma.