Aylesbury pre-schooler saves himself after falling into pond

This resourceful five-year-old was able to swim to safety after a scary fall.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 9:41 am

Five-year-old Joshua Poulton de Sebestyen, from Weston Turville, recently saved his own life by escaping a pond he fell into.

The Aylesbury youngster fell into the water on a family day out at a local pond, but was able to paddle back to safety.

Joshua swam back to his mum Claire who was nursing his six-week-old brother.

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Zach De Sebestyen

Claire and her partner Tim have credited Joshua's survival instincts with the fact he learnt to swim at his local Water Babies swimming class at Booker Park School.

Claire said: “It goes without saying that things could have gone completely differently had Joshua not had the training or known how to put it into practise.

"We were both so proud to see how he responded to what could have been a devastating event – he was so composed. And, to our relief, it hasn’t put him off his love of the water. In fact, he couldn’t wait to get back in the pool!

"He graduated from his Water Babies lessons just a few weeks ago but Zach, his little brother, will be starting lessons in August. Joshua taking a tumble really solidified it for us – confidence around the water is a non-negotiable for our two children.”


Local Government Association data collected last year for the National Water Safety Forum shows more than 60 children drown in the UK every summer.

The family had been spending a sunny day at a local pond when Josh walked across a bridge right over the water – Claire and Tim were just feet away. Just as Claire called out to him,

warning that it might be slippery underfoot, Josh slipped and fell in the water. Before the couple even had time to jump into action, the little super swimmer treaded water until he reached the bank, grabbed on and pulled himself out.

Claire added: “He’d learnt how to do that at Water Babies – seeing him put those skills into practise made me so proud. It just proved to us both that the weekly swimming lessons were worth their weight in gold. Perhaps most remarkably, Josh hadn’t actually been able to take part in a Water Babies lesson for quite some time before the incident because of the COVID restrictions.

Zach, Claire and Tim

Thankfully, he’d managed to retain the training and put it into practise when it mattered the most. For me, the best part was Josh’s own sense of achievement. He was so proud of himself for days afterwards and kept asking if I definitely saw what he did. He’s such a fantastic little boy – I feel very lucky to be his mummy.”

Tamsin Brewis, owner of Water Babies Bucks and Beds, was overjoyed to hear of Joshua’s quick-thinking, saying: “Whilst our sessions are a lot of fun, our entire programme is built around equipping our little swimmers with the skills they need to feel confident and capable in and around the water.

"I was so proud when I had heard how Josh had jumped – or should that be swam! – into action that day but I can’t say I was surprised. From what I’ve heard, he absolutely loves the water and has proven that at every single lesson. I’m sure Zach will take after his big brother and get his water wings in no time!”

More information on Water Babies is available here.