Elementary student hailed as ‘little hero’ in drowning rescue

Clarkston News Staff Writer
Bentley Garcia was playing in the water with his sister at Holly Recreation Area when he noticed something was wrong, June 9.
Garcia, a nine-year-old student from Clarkston Elementary, noticed a little girl went too far in the water and was struggling.
“I decided to go get her,” he said. ” I just thought of something I have been taught what to do if someone is drowning.”

Bentley Garcia, a student at Clarkston Elementary School, used his quick thinking to saves lives at the beach. Photo provided

He added he went right next to the point where there was a drop a couple feet deep.
“I was right next to the edge. I was right on my tippy toes and my feet where digging into the sand,” he said.
His mom, Natasha Margiawicz, added he was trying to push her with his arm at first because they talk all the time about appropriate touching.
“It wasn’t working,” she said. “He had to pick her up and move her closer to the shore.”
When he got her back to shore he noticed two boys drowning and he got his mom and her two friends.
“By the time we got there, three kids were drowning,” Margiawicz said. “My friend is shorter than I am, she ran in right away and when she got to the drop, she went under completely. The little boy was panicking as she was trying to help him stay above water. By the time I got my shoes off and my other friend ran in, someone got the little girl and I got the other boy. The little girl happened to go out twice. She went back out to get her brother.”
She added she is close to six feet tall and she almost went under at the drop as well.
“It was terrifying,” she said. “I am just glad everyone is okay.”
Garcia added he was happy he helped out but admitted to being scared.
“I felt good after it,” he said. “I was just scared when the little girl was drowning. It looked scary. I got afraid because I didn’t know if I was tall enough to get her.”
It was the first time they went to Holly Recreation Area as they usually go to Deer Lake Beach which is closer for them, but it’s closed.
“It was definitely an interesting day,” said Margiawicz. “Not what we planned on at all. I wasn’t even planning to get into the water. I am glad my son was aware, was able to think fast, and everything worked out fine.”
She added the parents came up to them afterwards and thanked them.
“The dad told Bentley he was a little hero,” Margiawicz said. “It is just flabbergasting in how quickly it happens.”
Garcia is spending the summer taking Tae Kwon Do, riding bicycles and has coding class with his friend.
“Each time I think there is no way, I could be more proud of my sweet Bentley and he always finds a way to prove me wrong,” Margiawicz shared on Facebook. “In an emergency it is not only crucial to recognize someone in trouble, but to also act. That is just what Bentley did. He noticed one child drowning pulled her to safety and when he saw other kids drowning, he ran to me and friends Thank goodness he was there! I’m unbelievably proud of him! You’re a hero!”

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