Boy Saves Friend From Drowning, Credits 'SpongeBob SquarePants'

Filed under: In The News, Amazing Kids

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The next time your kids are trying to convince you that cartoons are educational, they may have a point: "SpongeBob SquarePants" taught a New Jersey boy how to save another child from drowning.


Last Saturday, 5-year-old Andrew Gentile was attending a party for families of kids on his school bus route and went into the man-made lake on the property. His mom, Shirley Gentile, says she thought the water was shallow, but Andrew began struggling because he was in 6-foot deep water and couldn't touch the lake's floor. She jumped in to help, but panicked when she couldn't feel the bottom either, the Daily Record reports.

Reese Ronceray, 8, saw what was happening and sprang to action.

"I just saw and then I just knew how to react, I jumped in," Ronceray tells the Daily Record. "The hardest part was when we both went under, getting us back up to the surface."

Ronceray swam to Andrew and grabbed him, something he had seen on an episode of "SpongeBob SquarePants."

Reese Ronceray (right) saved 5-year old Andrew Gentile from drowning last weekend. Credit: Dawn Benko, Daily Record

Andrew didn't require medical attention once he was back on shore.

"I said 'thank you,' 'thank you,' 'thank you,' I was so grateful," Shirley Gentile says. "He was an angel to me."
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Andrew's mom isn't the only one to recognize Ronceray's brave act: His elementary school held a Reese Ronceray Day, and the mayor plans to recognize the boy, the Record reports.

Reese just takes it all in stride, though, and says he wants life to "just go back to normal."

Related: Amazing Kid: Girl, 11, Collects and Donates More Than 3,000 Pairs of Shoes

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.