â€œMy friends jumped and I jumped with them and I almostâ€¦â€ 10-year-old Gabriela tried to explain the time she almost drowned. â€œIt was deep and I didnâ€™t know how to swim.â€
It was just a few years ago sheÂ jumped into a river with her friends. The only problem? She didnâ€™t know how to swim. Her mother remembers running into the river to rescue her.
â€œShe started freaking out and I just had to jump,â€ said Holyoke resident Dailly Martinez. â€œShe almost drowned so I said wait this is not for fun anymore this is serious stuff.â€
Right after that, Dailly signed her daughter up for swimming lessons at theÂ Holyoke YMCA. Swimming instructors recommend parents start getting their kids in the water as early as three months.
â€œWe teach them how to float, how to just walk around the water and be comfortable with it so theyâ€™re not freaking out because thatâ€™s really how they can hurt themselves in the water,â€ said swim coach Kevin Morton, who also instructs swim lessons at the Holyoke YMCA.