“Just keep swimming”: The thought of his parents kept this brave 8-year-old boy alive

An 8-year-old boy has given a dramatic account of the moment he was swept out to sea when a river burst its banks and flooded his home.

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by Ellie Hooper |
Published on

Isiah Andrew was at home in the Solomon Islands when the Matanikau river burst and sent water flooding into the local area.

'I could not run anywhere because the house was now surrounded with water and there were pieces of metal and scraps all over the place crushing each other,' he said.

'I kept on saying in my mind swim, swim, swim, and don't stop.'

The boy, who lost his three younger nieces and a nephew in the flood, said he clung to a coconut tree as the water rose around his home, but 'pieces of metal, grass, mud and plastics were all over me.'

'All that time, I kept thinking of my mom and dad and that's why I regained my strength,' said the boy.

Rather than fight the current, quick-thinking Isiah went with it, being carried with the stream of debris.

'I kept on saying in my mind swim, swim, swim, and don't stop.'

Clinging to a log, the boy was then swept out into the ocean, where he spent several hours adrift before a fishing boat rescued him.

Thousands of people have been displaced by the floors in the Solomon Islands this month, and many are now at risk of disease because of lack of access to clean water and supplies. To donate to the aid effort - to help them supply things such as water purification tablets and medicines, click here.

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