My girlfriend, a traveling scuba mom, took her 5 kids on a much needed, long-awaited scuba vacation to Mexico this summer. Her son returned home in a medical helicopter and she is now at his bedside in the Bronx. Even though I have spoken with my girlfriend on the phone, I could not bring myself to ask her to tell me the story.

My voice and my heart were breaking as I tried to offer support. I only found out about the whole incident because I stopped by the butcher shop where she works, as usual, as I passed by on a walk. When I didn’t see her behind the counter, I jokingly asked the guys if she was ever coming back. Her co-worker filled me in.

The family was swimming in the pool at a resort in Mexico (I promise to get the name) and her son somehow got sucked in by the filter. Most of us remember the story several years ago about the girl who drowned because her hair was stuck in a jacuzzi filter. Many of us in Greenwich are all too familiar with this scenario because a little 6 year old boy recently drowned in his family pool because his arm got stuck in their pool’s filter.

Miraculously, 3 men (one was 7’1) were able to pull the boy away from the filter. In the process, his back was broken and now they don’t know the extent of the damage. The details are still unclear to me but one point that is crystal clear is how important it is to find out WHEREEVER YOU ARE where the emergency shut off switch is for the filter system. If one has not been installed, find out where the fuse is BEFORE you swim.

I am on a mission to find out who, in the hotel and resort world, has a plan in place to prevent this from happening. It should be each parent’s mission to find out the same from their friends and relatives. Don’t be embarrassed. I always planned to tell her story on Travelingmom – she is an avid scuba enthusiast and instructor and devoted mom of five kids whose youngest is now 10. I never dreamed that this would be her story. Be vigilant. And please say a prayer for Jessie.