WELLINGTON, Fla. - A Wellington boy's heroic action gives a little girl the biggest gift of all - a second chance at life.
Florida loses more children under the age of five to drowning than any other state. What Palmer French did for his friend kept her from becoming another tragic statistic.
Palmer, 6, is a natural in the water. If he was not, Tuesday afternoon could have ended very differently.
"She cannot swim because she is still a baby," said Palmer of his friend and neighbor Scarlett Berger, 2.
Scarlett was in the pool at Palmer's grandparents home in Wellington. Somehow she slipped off a shallow water ledge and into deeper water. She quickly began sinking to the bottom.
That is when Palmer sprang into action. "She fell down in the water and I saved her and her mom picked her up," he said.
"I think that he's a little hero," said Tom Mansmith, Palmers grandfather. "It's what I think."
Palmer and his grandfather often play an underwater game where Palmer will swim down to the pool floor and pull his grandfather up. It seems Palmer used the same technique with Scarlett.
"Palmer just instinctively jumped in, went to the bottom, picked her up and brought her to the surface," said Mansmith.
"I was not scared. I was brave," said Palmer.
Fortunately, Scarlett's mother was near by to the pool edge and was able to grab her daughter.
"I came over quickly and pulled her out," said Daniela Berger. "She can look up to him."