At the hotel swimming pool, Laura and her husband took turns to swim and play with their 3-year-old son Simon. It was Laura’s turn to watch Simon when her mother called. She turned her head to speak on the phone for a couple of minutes. But when she turned back, Simon was no where to be found.
She panicked and frantically walked around to search for him. Out of nowhere, she spotted Simon at the bottom of the adult pool. She screamed and quickly jumped in to drag him out, one kind hotel guest helped to perform CPR on him.
“The ambulance arrived and tried to defibrillate Simon. I can never forget the sight of it, his tiny body under the two big paddles. After 20 minutes, which felt like hours, they turned around and announced that there was nothing they could do, Simon was gone.”
– Laura Jenkins
They watched the CCTV footage to figure out what happened. The hotel’s pool was built in a way that the baby pool is side by side to the adult pool. Simon stood on the ledge in between and accidentally fell headfirst into the adult pool while Laura was still on the phone. It happened while the lifeguards were changing shifts, so no one was there to lookout. From the footage, Simon struggled for about 1 minute before he lost his strength and eventually drowned.
Getting over it and starting anew
They flew home that very night and started planning for Simon’s funeral.
After several months, Laura still couldn’t get over her son’s death. She needed help; her mother recommended a care group for bereaved parents. In that same group was Jennifer Rodney, a sports engineer who focuses on water sports and a bereaved mother who lost her child due to a miscarriage.
Laura and Jennifer found strength in each other during their grieving moments and were determined to start anew together.
Preventing the nightmare from happening again
Laura doesn’t want what happened to her, happen to anyone else. So, she worked with Jennifer to create a subtle wearable that can act as an emergency life preserver. The result looks like something out of a James Bond movie.
“According to research, drowning is the number 1 cause of accidental deaths among children below 14, and it is primarily due to parents’ negligence. As short as 1 minute of negligence is enough to take your child’s life. And at times, it is simply impossible to not look away for a minute or two; you may need a cup of coffee or pick up a quick phone call. In this case, our children need something that is easily operated and can save their lives in emergencies when no one is watching. That’s why we created the SafeWaters™ Armband.”
– Laura Jenkins
The SafeWaters™ Armband
The SafeWaters™ Armband is essentially an arm strap attached with a mini cabin and a small capsule of carbon dioxide. It weighs less than 5 ounces and is about the size of a smartphone.
If the wearer gets into trouble in water, all he needs to do is to pull the lever which triggers the CO2 cartridge to inflate an orange inflation bag. This lifts the wearer to the water surface in a matter of seconds.
It can hoist an adult weighing as much as 260 lbs and keeps one afloat long enough to call for rescue. It also comes with a compass to navigate to safety and a whistle to attract attention when needed.
Not only is this for children, but also for adults, because even the greatest swimmers can experience a water emergency. In cases where a life jacket is not in reach, this device aims to save lives from the dangers of water activities such as swimming, water-surfing and sailing.
Water safety is not to be taken lightly. If you’re on land and you crash your bike, you might just scrape up your knee; but if you make a mistake in the water, you pay with your life.
No family should experience what Laura has gone through. Gear up with SafeWaters™ Armband, stay safe while having fun in the waters.