Man charged with child abuse after leaving child alone in sea

The incident happened in Daytona.
The incident happened in Daytona. Photo credit: Getty

A man in the United States faces child abuse charges after allegedly abandoning his five-year-old child in the ocean in an attempt to teach him how to swim.

After being arrested the man reportedly yelled he was "going to jail for being awesome".

The child was seen unaccompanied and bobbing in the waves beside a pier at Daytona Beach, WESH 2 News reports.

The father, 37-year-old John Bloodsworth, is accused of leaving his son unaccompanied in the ocean as he repeatedly dove from the pier. 

Concerned for the safety of the boy an onlooker then intervened.

'I said 'I can't take this no more' so I went down to the pier, down to the shore and confronted him myself,' Mitch Brown, a former State trooper on vacation in Daytona, told WESH 2 News.

'The little kid was out here by himself. Completely by himself. There was nobody around him, no adults,' 

Brown then dragged the father, who was drunk at the time, to a police officer who was in the area.

"I said 'you're coming with me one way or another'."

Brown said the child was visibly distraught from the experience.

The father was later charged with child abuse and disorderly intoxication in public.

Apart from the obvious danger, the child was placed in, being thrown in the deep end in such a way is also counterproductive to building confidence in children, according to Water Safety New Zealand.

"It’s all about children having positive and supported early experiences in the water and giving them confidence so they can then move on to learn water safety skills and swimming," says Water Safety New Zealand CEO Jonty Mills.

Particular care must be taken with younger children, says Mills.

"You must keep toddlers and small children within arms-reach around water at all times. It takes less than a minute for a child to drown."

Drinking while around the ocean is also a big no-no.

"Alcohol obviously impairs motor function and judgement so not only could it lead to trouble but it could exacerbate the problem if you end up in the water."



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