Young boy awarded for rescuing cousin from pool

15 January 2022
In July last year, 10-year-old Jayden Van Boheemen and his family were helping relatives move into their new home. The adults were busy in the house, so Jayden and his siblings were playing with their cousins outside. 

The children were in the pool area when the youngest, five-year-old Grace, accidentally fell into the pool. “Grace was standing on the edge of the pool looking into the water, then she tripped and fell in,” says Jayden. Grace was completely submerged, and Jayden acted immediately. Despite the freezing cold water, he jumped in fully clothed and pulled her to the surface. “I could see her bobbing up and down, so I dived in and pushed her to the side,” he said.

Jayden’s sister had screamed for help which drew the adults outside, including Grace’s mum Emma. “At this time, we were coming outside as my niece had screamed out to us,” said Emma. “Jayden was pushing his cousin to the edge of the pool where she could get out via the steps.”

Grace was shaken but otherwise unhurt. “After getting them both out of the pool and rugging them up and giving some very well due hugs, Jayden was commended for his bravery for such a young kid,” Emma said. “Jayden was quick to jump in and push his cousin to the edge of the pool, without any hesitation for himself, the temperature; just to help her. He did it to save her life and for that we are eternally grateful.”

Jayden’s mother, Stacey, couldn’t believe how quickly it all unfolded. “I was in complete shock at how quick and quiet the whole incident was. It’s so crazy. There were eight adults and none of us heard Grace fall in or Jayden jump in. It wasn’t until I heard my daughter call out that we looked over and saw them in the pool. And we were only in the room that looks out to the pool area.”

Jayden Van Boheemen receiving his Bravery Award from WA Governor Kim Beazley ACJayden was awarded a Bravery Commendation at the 2021 Royal Life Saving Bravery Awards for his actions that day which saved his cousin’s life. Despite the freezing water, Jayden did not hesitate to help his cousin and displayed great maturity and quick thinking. “I am so proud of him,” says mum Stacey. “You always hope your kids or yourself would react the way he did. It was just instinct. He didn’t even hesitate.”

Displaying maturity well beyond his years, Jayden remained humble about receiving the accolade. “It was pretty good to receive the award, but I feel like I was just in the right place at the right time,” he says. “There were a lot of brave people [at the awards] and I was just one of them.”

“He is so mature for his age,” says Emma. “Jayden is a 10-year-old – he shouldn’t have to think about saving someone’s life, but he never hesitated. He jumped in fully clothed and pushed her to the surface. We’re very grateful to Jayden and so glad he was recognised with a bravery commendation. Since the incident we’ve upgraded the pool fence and Grace is now more aware of being around the water.”