ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - For all the near misses, there was this tragedy. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says 13-year-old Slyvanus Wiley did not resurface Sunday at Ocean Reef Park. He passed away. An autopsy will be performed.
In St. Lucie County alone this weekend, three kids, all under five-years-old nearly drowned.
"So many deputies, every year respond to drownings. They're painful for us," says St. Lucie County Sheriff Deputy, Maegan Loupe. "They're painful for families. So the sheriff's office decided to start a swim program."
This is lesson seven of nine in the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office pilot swim program. They plan on bringing back in the fall.
Eleven-year-old Savanna Sands is one of 23 kids preparing to complete the lessons. Her mom is Tisa.
"She was a little afraid to even go under water. She was used to holding her nose. Versus now, she has a lot of confidence, she swimming, she's going under water and not holding her nose, Tisa says.
"It gives the parents here that confidence to know, okay my child was in a situation, I need to supervise them, but at the same time they also know that their child is confident enough to save themselves," Loupe says.
There's another new program out there to upgrade pool safety at home.
"It's a layer of protection for your swimming pool," says Adam Jones who's in charge of aquatics and safety for St. Lucie County.
He's talking about a pool alarm.
"It's a very simple concept," he says.
The pool alarm is two magnets that don't like being away from each other. Starting Monday, if you have a home pool, one is yours if you want it for free.
"If a little one goes out and you have a pool and they go out the door and you're inside cooking or what not, you're going to hear that alarm," he says.
You can't miss the sound when it goes off. They'll come to your house to set them for you too, all free.
If you don't live in St. Lucie County, and want one, they'll help you out.
Call this number: 772-462-3501 if you're interested.