This past weekend we went on a much needed family vacation.
We chose to go camping in the interior, as the last time we went, our little miss was 2-1/2yo and the wee lad had never had the experience.
The campground was great!
There were options to bring your camper or RV, rent a small cabin or set up in tent village.
We tented…and it was fantastic 🙂
The lake was quaint, but just big enough for all the guests of the park to enjoy. The beach sand was perfect and progressed at a nice grade so the kiddos could play in the shallows without concern. Out in the water there was a dock that you could swim to and jump off, which the girls enjoyed immensely…until the worst happened.
It was a beautiful afternoon and the four weelets (ages 16 months to 4-3/4yo) hopped into our inflatable boats and floated out to the dock with the Daddies. They jumped off and swam about, climbed back on and jumped again, and again and again. A few more kids and their Dads swam out and joined in with the fun.
About a half an hour later, four teenage boys swam out to the dock.
They clambered up and their added weight to the existing group caused the dock to tilt and begin to sink. Eventually, the tilt was so great, that everyone started to lose their footing and slide into the water.
I would like to make note, that all four of our kidlets were wearing life preservers.
Once the dock righted itself, my sister-in-law did a head count…one of ours was missing!
Gurgles and screams were heard coming from under the dock!
Our daughter, the eldest, had been sucked under the dock when it tilted as she was climbing up the ladder on the opposite side. When it came down, it came down over top of her.
My husband and brother-in-law immediately swam underneath, located her (her bright yellow life vest was how they saw her in the dark water and limited light), grabbed her, pulled her down and pushed her out to safety.
She sputtered out the water, but was fine after the ordeal.
I swam out at Mach 10 speed, but as you can imagine this seemed like an eternity.
The teenaged boys had swum away.
Daddy was overcome from the situation and suffered a mild scrape on his forehead, which caused great distress to our daughter. More so that her own predicament that she had just come out of.
She gets this from me. Caring more about others than herself.
After an hour or so, she was herself again, but said that she didn’t want to go back to the dock and that the boys were naughty for making it tip. We explained that it was an accident and that we learned from what had happened.
Lesson 1) The grown-ups should have been more aware and prevented the extra bodies from getting onto the dock. Although, my husband did yell for people to get off as it was tipping. Preventative is better than reactive.
Lesson 2) ALWAYS have your children wear life preservers. Get bright yellow or orange, as we discovered, being in darker water, blue or purple vests make it difficult to see the wearer.
Lesson 3) Comfort your children after an occurrence such as this. We didn’t want our children to become afraid of the water or the dock. It was an unfortunate experience, but the outcome could have been far worse.
The rest of the weekend went off without a hitch and the kids were even taken back out to the dock to see that everything was OK once again.
Have you ever experienced a heart-stopping event where your children were involved?