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Boy Saves Child From Drowning
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Jumping in to a critical situation, 12-year-old Josh Kemp dove into a pool and saved a little girl from drowning.

Kristy Padgett, mother of four-year-old Destiny Levine, thinks he deserves an award.

It happened in the community pool at Quail Meadows Mobile Home Park in Riverbank on June 22 shortly before noon.

Padgett was in the pool but with her back turned when she heard a commotion at the other end of the pool. She turned around to see daughter Destiny, whom she'd last seen showering next to the pool, struggling in the water and near drowning.

"She didn't have her flotation device on," said Padgett. "I think she was going under for the fourth or fifth time. I yelled for help. I was trying to run in the water the length of the pool to get to her. Then a boy leaped in and pulled her to the side."

Padgett, who is from Modesto and was visiting her mother-in-law at the park, didn't get his name in the confusion but went back the next day to find and thank him.

Kemp is a resident of the park and often swims at the pool there. He learned to swim by the time he was four and is a very modest boy who thought little of what he had done, said Padgett. But she thinks he should get a plaque and deserves some recognition.

"There were four other adults beside the pool but nobody else was doing anything," she said.

Kemp lives in the park with his mother Dana Moody, who said she is very proud of her son and what he did.

The pool is only three feet or so deep at each end but drops off to five feet in the middle and Destiny is not that tall.

Kemp confirmed the little girl was showering when he first saw her and then in the pool going under when he looked again.

"Nobody was doing anything although there were other four other guys there," he said. "I dived in and caught her and brought her to the side of the pool.

"She wasn't unconscious or anything. But her mother said she was spitting out water and started crying."

Destiny originally was wearing a "floatie," a round, plastic flotation ring, when she sat down on the pool steps, but must have slipped out of it into the pool. Kemp said he learned to swim in the Stanislaus River when very young and is now a strong swimmer.

"Yes, I'm proud of what I did," he added.