Granger Smith Documents 8-Month-Old Son Maverick Swimming, Honors Late Son After Accidental Drowning

Granger and Amber Smith have become advocates for children's water safety after their 3-year-old son River Kelly died in a tragic drowning accident in 2019

8 month old Maverick on his 10th ISR (infant swim rescue) lesson.
Photo: Granger Smith Instagram; Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Granger and Amber Smith are opening up about the importance of teaching children how to swim at a young age in honor of their late son River Kelly, who died at the age of 3 after a tragic drowning accident in 2019.

On Thursday, Granger, 42, shared an Instagram video of his and Amber's 8-month-old son Maverick Beckham floating in a pool by himself, celebrating the swimming milestone.

"I never thought I would post something like this, but my mind is blown. This is a vid of our 8 month old Maverick on his 10th ISR (infant swim rescue) lesson," the country singer wrote. "He's in full clothes and diaper. He can barely crawl, but now he knows how to hold his breath, twist his body, find the air, float on his back and cry. He can do this falling in head first, feet first or any orientation. He has the skills to float until help comes."

"He's a warrior and doesn't even realize it," Granger added. "He's an example for many families who see this video. Only ONE person needs to see this, and hear my plea to you. Drowning is the #1 accidental death of children age 4 and under. Thinking that adult supervision is enough is an absolutely DEADLY miscalculation. Hear me. I used to think that too."

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The "Backroad Song" crooner urged his followers to enroll their infants in swimming lessons and use proper safety measures like fenced pools, life jackets, and pool alarms. Granger then praised his wife for being by Maverick's side during his lessons.

"I could not attend these classes because of my own vulnerabilities, but @amberemilysmith is an absolute rockstar and feels an obligation to the public to share this message," he ended his note. "Spread the word. River's life mattered. He's saving thousands of others. Hear me."

Amber, 40, also shared a number of photos of baby Maverick floating in the water on his own. She explained that though the video Granger shared may seem alarming, she believes it's what's best for the little boy's safety.

"Guys, I get it. It can seem scary when you see a video of a crying baby being led to fall into a body of water. You know what's scarier and more painful? Losing a child to a fatal drowning," she wrote. "This wasn't easy for me. Seeing him cry those first few lessons, I wanted to scoop him right up, but I trusted the process and I watched as it worked every step of the way! We made the decision to give Maverick the skills he needed to find the air, the skills River needed that we didn't know about, and my goodness, he did it!!"

Amber continued, "Before you make any snap judgements about something that seems unusual to you, I beg you, from a mother who has lost a child to drowning, check out the lessons and instructors for yourselves," she continued. "I am truly amazed at what Maverick has accomplished in such a short time. I'm already so hopeful, excited and empowered for the next phase."

In June 2019, River tragically died in a drowning accident at the family's Texas home. Granger shared the "unthinkable" news on Twitter and Instagram at the time, revealing that "despite doctor's best efforts, he was unable to be revived." River was laid to rest on June 11.

The grieving parents — who are also parents to son Lincoln, 8, and daughter London, 10 — told PEOPLE that they will never know how River managed to enter into their fenced pool, which led to his accidental drowning, but have since become vocal advocates for children's safety around water.

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