Plymouth Drowning Victim's Family Returns to Pool for Safety Demonstration

Updated: 05/17/2014 6:17 PM
Created: 05/17/2014 2:46 PM
By: Kate Renner

The family of a 16-year-old boy who drowned in a Plymouth apartment pool is making an effort to ensure it will not happen to others.

Benedict Richardson died three weeks ago after failing to resurface in the Plymouth Square Apartments' pool.

On Saturday, Richardson's family participated in a water safety demonstration in the apartments put on by the Plymouth Fire Department.

The last time Samantha Richardson swam at the pool, she witnessed the tragedy of her older brother, Benedict, drowning. Using a buoy and a rope, she practiced saving a life with Plymouth firefighters.

The event allowed kids who live at the apartment complex to practice water safety. 

"Even the young kids are strong enough to pull a man that big out of the water with this shepherd hook," said Paul Larson, Plymouth Fire Department.

The event also gave closure to a family whose loved one was taken unexpectedly.

"I wanted Samantha to come here not to be afraid of water, other tragedies happen, but I wanted her to come and see what is going on and be a part of the training," said Emmette Richardson, Samantha and Benedict's father.

Samantha is letting go of her fears and learning a new confidence around the pool.

"I used a buoy to throw it and catch it and tell them to come over here.  And I used a rescue stick to hold on to his stomach and drag him," said Samantha Richardson.

"It's important that I be a part of this so that people will learn, so what happened to me will not happen to other families in the future," said Emmette Richardson.

Plymouth firefighters have 14 other demonstrations like these scheduled for this summer at area pools so no other families have to learn the dangers of the water too late.

"If we can get out and educate people ahead of time to prevent these emergencies that's our ultimate goal," said Kip Stringer

The YMCA is offering free swimming lessons at select apartment pools and public pools. If you're interested in seeing if there are lessons near you, call your local YMCA.

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