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CLEVELAND -- Each year many people lose their lives in Lake Erie because of drownings.

Drownings are the third leading cause of accidental death, and over the weekend eight people had to be rescued from Lake Erie. Two of them died.

Monday, the family of one of the survivors had a rare chance to say thank you.

"I thought my son was dead because he wasn't moving," said Tonishia Berry.

She is the mother of Javoin Berry, the boy who was rescued off Euclid Beach -- the same beach that took her boyfriend.

"I see a big current come, and it breaks them up. My boyfriend went one way and my son went another," Berry adds.

Her boyfriend was Traveno Sledge, who drowned after attempting to save the boy.

"Couldn't nobody get to my son, but a lady she pulled my son out of the water," Berry said.

That lady was also a mom and a nurse. Kathleen Halloway and her family were picnicking at the beach when she heard the cry for help.

"I thought 'That could be my baby,' so I wanted to get him as soon as I could," said Halloway, "When I flipped him over on his back he was unresponsive. I was getting a bit nervous the water was a bit tough. I'm a good swimmer, and it was rough for me."

With the help of another man, she was able to get 4-year-old Javoin back to shore, and on Monday Berry met the woman who saved her son.

Javoin still has a few more tests to go though, but he was healthy enough to give Halloway a big hug.

"I felt so proud of him that's such a tough ordeal and he came around showing he was a fighter," said Halloway.

With the help of the United States Coast Guard and the University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital Injury Prevention Center, Channel 3 came up with a list to keep you safe next time you're out on the water.

  1. Know your limits. If you are not a good swimmer, stay near the shore and with a group.
  2. Use the buddy method> It is always best to stay within arm's length of another person or wear a life vest.
  3. Swim in designated areas. Try to stay near lifeguard stations and know the surrounding area in case you are caught in a rip current. If you do get caught in a rip current make sure you swim parallel to the shore. Rip currents are usually short and will let you swim out of it.

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