Avani Perez

Avani Perez – 11 Year Old Saves Grandparents at Sea!

Avani Perez, an 11 year old boy, is a sixth-grader at Nativity Catholic School in Hollywood, Florida, USA.  He was fishing with his grandparents on their boat off the coast of Southern Florida.  When their anchor became tangled, both grandparents jumped into the Atlantic Ocean to help free it.

Shortly after they entered the ocean, the strong current in the waters caused the grandparents to quickly drift further and further away from the boat.  Avani sensed the potential danger.

He spent a lot of time on a boat growing up, so he calmly did what he was taught. He called 911.

Avani was connected to emergency dispatcher Amanda Coleman.  Avani stayed on the phone with her for an hour to help locate the position of the boat in the vast ocean.  Eventually, the United States Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded along with commercial fishermen who were in the area. They were able to pull the grandparents out of the water to safety.

Although what Avani did may sound simple, it took a lot of bravery and courage. As he told The Miami Herald, “I did what I had to do. There was no second choice. It had to happen.”

The U.S. Coast Guard recognized Avani Perez with a gold coin during a visit to Coast Guard Station Islamorada the next day.

Avani Perez’s calm reactions during a dangerous situation saved the lives of both his grandparents and himself. It is a great example of the power of young people to help others in times of need.  And to know what to do when danger strikes.  Check out this video of Avani’s inspiring actions and learn more about how you can be prepared to help others in their time of need below.

Additional Resources

  • Read more about Avani’s story at the Miami Herald
  • Check out other InspireMyKids articles and quotes about courage and bravery
  • View other inspiring stories about first responders here

Topics for Discussion:

  • What would you have done if you were in the situation Avani faced?
  • If Avani did not act properly, how else could this story have ended?
  • What character traits did Avani exhibit?
  • Have you ever helped others in a dangerous situation?

Take Action:

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.
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