Granger Smith took to Instagram to share a mind-blowing video and an important message on Thursday (April 28). Smith admitted he never thought he would share the glimpse of his 8-month-old son, Maverick, during his 10th infant swim rescue (ISR) lesson. Maverick is seen fully clothed and in a diaper, and the baby, who can barely crawl, now “knows how to hold his breath, twist his body, find the air, float on his back and cry,” Smith shared. “He can do this falling in head first, feet first or any orientation. He has the skills to float until help comes.”
Smith noted that because of “my own vulnerabilities,” he couldn’t attend the ISR classes. But his wife, Amber, “is an absolute rockstar and feels an obligation to the public to share this message.” The message hits home for the Smith family after losing their son, River Kelly Smith, in a tragic accident in the summer of 2019. Smith’s representative confirmed at the time that River died by drowning. He was 3 years old.
The Smiths welcomed their son, Maverick Beckham Smith, in August of 2021. They previously shared how Maverick’s name honors River: Amber “really wanted 'Riv' to be in the name,” and the country artist said: “I’ve liked the name Maverick my whole life, and it's always been just an awesome name to me…And most importantly, to us, it has the letters R-I-V, which he'll forever be connected to his brother, his big brother Riv. Beckham…means essentially, home by the river.”
Smith wrote of Maverick, urging parents to enroll kids in ISR (among other safety measures):
“He’s a warrior and doesn’t even realize it. He’s an example for many families who see this video. Only ONE person needs to see this, and hear my plea to you. Drowning is the #1 accidental death of children age 4 and under. Thinking that adult supervision is enough is an absolutely DEADLY miscalculation. Hear me. I used to think that too. As summer approaches: Supervise, install a fence (unlike this Airbnb,) install a pool alarm, never use floaties, always use a coast guard approved life jacket on open water, enroll kids in ISR. If not, fill your pool with dirt and plant a garden. This goes for neighbors, grandparents, hotels and public pools. Hear me.
“Notes: NEVER try ISR without a trained instructor. Maverick is in no pain or danger. …Spread the word. River’s life mattered. He’s saving thousands of others. Hear me.”
See Smith’s post here:
Amber added her own post with photos of 8-month-old Maverick in the pool during his lesson. She explained that the ISR’s professionals are trained to work with each child, being “patient…kind (and) gentle” in their lessons. Amber also asked others not to “make any snap judgments about something that seems unusual to you,” a plea from a mother who lost a child. She wrote:
“Guys, I get it. It can seem scary when you see a video of a crying baby being led to fall into a body of water. You know what’s scarier and more painful? Losing a child to a fatal drowning. This wasn’t easy for me. Seeing him cry those first few lessons, I wanted to scoop him right up, but I trusted the process and I watched as it worked every step of the way! We made the decision to give Maverick the skills he needed to find the air, the skills River needed that we didn’t know about, and my goodness, he did it!!
“And he wasn’t afraid of our instructor, or the water and he smiled the biggest smiles after, so I could do hard things for 10 minutes to give our son the skills he needs.”
See her full post here: