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Created in memory of her husband who drowned, a woman from Central Arkansas runs a nonprofit organization that emphasizes the value of water safety



Conway, Arkansas – With the intention of ensuring his memory is never forgotten, a woman from central Arkansas established a memorial foundation in memory of her husband who drowned.

According to Melanie Brindley, the Ken Brindley Memorial Foundation’s goals are to promote water safety education, offer swim safety equipment, and offer scholarships for general education and swim instruction.

Melanie stated that she founded the charity following the death of her spouse, Ken Brindley, who drowned 21 years ago while attempting to save a child who was drowning in Grayton Beach, Florida, despite being warned not to swim. Ken was killed by the rip current, but the child was spared.

“I think that just knowing how much he wanted to be a resource of help to other people helped me,” Melanie Brindley said.

Melanie Brindley claimed that following the death of her spouse, she started studying more about water safety and even went to different states to broaden her horizons and increase her awareness of herself.
Melanie reported that she came across a group of families who had lost a family member to drowning and that they were all working together around the country to stop drowning in their local regions and states.

According to data from the US Coast Guard, Arkansas has the sixth-highest number of drownings nationwide. Furthermore, the World Health Organization projects that 236,000 individuals globally drown each year, making it the third most common cause of death from unintentional injuries.

“It is the leading cause of death of children aged one through four, but you also hit a group of young men, and the men are from 18 up to their 40s,” Brindley said.

At thirty-six, she remarked, Ken Brindley suited that statistic.

The Natural State is popular in the summer, especially during the holidays, when there are plenty of sources of water to keep cool and have fun in, including hot tubs, pools, ponds, or lakes. Melanie warns that tiny children can drown in a bathtub if left unsupervised and that you can drown in any of those.
She mentioned that a lot of people even congregate around the lakes to watch displays of fireworks.

“Make sure you’re on a boat with someone that is legal to drive, who doesn’t drink and boat, who knows the rules of driving waterways, and that you have a Coast Guard-approved life jacket because you never know when you’ll need it,” Brindley said.

Brindley emphasized that anyone might be affected by drowning.

“Drowning is preventable,” Brindley said. “Drowning doesn’t discriminate between socioeconomic, and it doesn’t discriminate between any one of us.”

Although taking swimming lessons can lower one’s risk of drowning, more than half of adult Americans have never done so, according to the CDC.

“I think it’s very important that people hear about water safety from the moment a child is born into their family because that is the single leading cause of death, unintentional, accidental injury of a child,” Brindley said.

Melanie started brainstorming strategies to reach out and involve the community, and she came up with a few annual initiatives.

“Mainly, we are purchasing lifejackets at a reduced cost for manufacturers,” Brindley said.

She collaborated with Beaverfork Lake’s community of Conway to establish Water Safety Saturday, an annual event.

“We had people teaching CPR, we had the game and fish out doing different activities, a swim school came out to teach, a fence company and pool company teaching about pool protection,” Brindley said.

When swimming with kids, Brindley advised taking a few safety measures, like keeping an arm’s length distance from the child.

She also mentioned that you should always check the water first if a child disappears, emphasizing the need of having “multiple barriers of protection.” Barriers, according to her, include things like gates, fences, and closed doors.

“Have water watchers. We want you to designate someone to keep your eyes on the children at all times and take shifts,” Brindley said.

Additionally, Melanie Brindley teaches people about the dangers of open water, like lakes and beaches.
Melanie Brindley is aware that her work is already having an influence on many lives, but she still aspires to grow her nonprofit organization every day to provide everyone with more possibilities.

“I know that he would be proud that we’re doing what we can,” Brindley said. has more details about the Ken Brindley Memorial Foundation.


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