8-Month Pregnant Mom Saves Drowning Tween While Teaching Her Own Kids How to Swim

Stephanie Swedberg
Fox 9

An 8-month pregnant mom is being heralded a hero after she came to the rescue of a preteen boy while teaching her two sons to float. Stephanie Swedberg from Burnsville, Minnesota, happened take her 3-year-old twin sons to Crystal Beach Park and was working on their water skills when she heard another mother scream for help. An older group of boys had been swimming nearby when one boy started to drown, and the pregnant mama sprung into action.

  • The mom said it was only coincidence that she and her sons were at the beach that day learning how to swim.

    Thirty-three-week pregnant Swedberg told Today that she usually spends her Sundays in church, but on July 21 she had a change of heart and watched the service online so she could spend the day at Crystal Beach Park with her two young sons, Aiden and Declan.

    "I've just known with these guys that I wanted them to learn how to swim as soon as possible," she told Fox 9. That is why she brought them to the lake along with her sister to teach her boys how to float. Around 11 a.m., Swedberg was in the water with her sons and her sister when she heard something that would shake any parent to their core: another mother screaming for help.

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  • A group of boys ages 10 to 14 had been horsing around in the deeper end of the lake, when one of them suddenly went under.

    That's right about the time Swedberg said she heard the boy's mother cry out and knew something deeply troubling was going down. "I didn't really realize anything was off until I saw one of the moms fully dressed, sprinting into the water and screaming for somebody to help her son," she said. "Then I looked over and I saw one of the boys unable to keep his head above the water."

    The mom told Today that the boy looked to be about 11 and that "he was thrashing, and his head kept going under under, and she couldn't get to him. For some reason, no one was doing anything."

    Swedberg, a former lifeguard, then handed her own kids off to her sister as she quickly made her way 20 feet over to see if she could help.

    “I’ve never swam so fast. It’s funny because I can’t even get my pants on these days,” she recalled.

    "He wasn't screaming ... he was just thrashing around, bobbing a little bit," she told Fox 9. Luckily, she made it to the boy in time and saved his life.

  • In hindsight, Swedberg said this incident is a reminder that it's an important for kids to learn how to swim from an early age.

    The mom shared that despite her history as a lifeguard, this was the first time she ever had to save someone from drowning, adding that after the boy was safe and sound, she learned that he had only had three swim lessons before that day, Today reported.

    “I encouraged him to keep going and said he’d be a good lifeguard because he knows how scary it is to struggle in the water,” she said. 

    Swedberg credited the boy's mom, who reacted quickly, especially because it all happened so fast and so quietly, she told Fox 9The boy's mother later told her that they had recently lost a family member to drowning.

     According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14 "and three children die every day as a result of drowning."

    That is why it's important to get your kids into the water as early as possible. "When I was 6 years old, I witnessed the death of a 3-year-old girl due to drowning," Swedberg explained to Today. "A tragic event like that leaves an impression that lasts a lifetime. Since witnessing that event, I've always placed an incredible importance on water safety."