Jaime Enseleit and her brother Riley.
Jaime Enseleit and her brother Riley. The Northern Star

Ocean Shores boy Riley Enseleit almost drowns

WHEN 10-year-old Jaime Enseleit first saw her four-year-old brother Riley lying at the bottom of a friend's pool, she thought he was 'a goner'.

But her quick thinking and cool head helped save the youngster, who only last summer was one of the most confident water babies imaginable.

Riley's mother, Jodie, of Ocean Shores, said the trauma of nearly losing her youngest on Saturday inspired her to contact The Northern Star to alert parents to the real dangers of swimming pools - even when they are fenced and guardians are close at hand.

Ms Enseleit said her children were with their father on the Gold Coast during a normal visiting weekend. Riley was playing and splashing with four other children, making lots of noise and having great fun.

But the drama unfolded just moments after young Riley jumped through an inflatable rubber ring and dropped to the bottom of the pool without a sound.

“It was a normal fenced pool,” Ms Enseleit said. “And there was normal parental supervision. Fortunately, Riley's father knew CPR and luckily Jaime reacted quickly.

“Difficult as it is for us, after all we've been through, we just feel the need to raise awareness about this issue as we come into the swimming season.”

Ms Enseleit said Riley was a confident swimmer last summer who astounded lifeguards on the beach with his prowess in the shore break. In the pool he would regularly jump in and swim back to safety, even as a three-year-old.

Saturday's swim was his first since before the start of winter.

“I thought he was a goner,” recalled sister Jaime. “He was lying still on the bottom and his eyes were closed.”

Jaime dived to the bottom and lifted her brother's head looking for a response. Jaime's father, right behind her, lifted the boy to the surface. He was already turning blue. Jaime had seen on a movie that doctors opened patients' eyes when they were unconscious, to startle and revive them. So she did the same.

Their father then started CPR. As life quickly returned to Riley, who began vomiting water, Jaime ran inside the house shouting at people to dial 000 and summon an ambulance.

Without their quick action things might have been worse.

Fortunately for the Enseleits, Riley made a full recovery at the Gold Coast Hospital, with a medical report stating the boy was under water for two minutes.

“This was a normal family situation with supervision inside a fenced pool,” Ms Enseleit said. “No one ever thought this would happen.

“We are now coming into that season when families will be swimming and the lesson for everybody is that no one can take their eyes off kids - even for a moment.

“If we can save one life by telling our story then it's worthwhile.”

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