Last Thursday, a 5-year-old boy nearly drowned in his brave attempt to save two young girls. The incident occurred at the murky, swift-flowing Msunduzi River near Edendale in South Africa. The boy, Bandile Latha, and his two female cousins, Noluthando Dzanibe and Zama Thando Mbatha were playing in the shallows at around 2.30pm before tragedy struck and the two girls got caught in the current.

Bandile, who is not a swimmer himself, still did his best to try to rescue both the girls. However, he found himself getting swept away instead. Eventually, he was washed into reeds but somehow he managed to keep his head up and climb out. When the Daily News interviewed him, Bandile was still too traumatised to relate what had happened. According to his mother, Nombuyiselo Sokhela, Bandile managed to grab and hold on to the reeds before crawling out of the water. After he got out, he was left with cuts and bruises, but he still screamed out for help.

Unfortunately for the two girls, their bodies were later found about 250m and 500m downstream. “It was this sudden instinct to save a drowning person. When I got the news I immediately rushed home, I did not realise that my child was alive,” explained his mother on how her son had attempted to rescue his playmates. She also added that she initially received a phone call about the drowning incident and simply rushed home fearing the worst.

After realising that he was alright, she hugged and kissed him. “I whispered a silent prayer, thanking God for sparing his life. I had just finished buying his school clothes as he would be going to Grade R, to Alston Primary School in Pietermaritzburg. It’s very painful, what has happened. This tragedy at the beginning of a New Year is very painful,” she said. Her husband too, was thankful that their son was alive. “When I received a message that there was a drowning, I just did not know what to think. I simply was confused, but thank God my little angel, Bandile, was safe,” he stated. For more of the story, you can read it from here.

Happy Fish Swim School cannot emphasise enough how important it is for each and all to possess swimming knowledge and skills. It can potentially save one’s life or help to save a life of another. Therefore, one shouldn’t save such money. Instead, make sure that both yourself as well as your family invest in swimming lessons.