A couple from Florida are counting their blessings after rescuing their son just in the nick of the time.
Robert and Maria Wanes had returned home from a day spent on the water with their children earlier this month, when their 5-year-old son Nicholas went missing.
As Nicholas told WPLG, he was trying to play "hide-and-go-seek," but found a "not-good hiding spot" inside a drink cooler his parents had left outside to dry out.
In a surveillance video from the Wanes’ home, little Nicholas can be seen ducking into the 18-gallon cooler.
For about two minutes, the cooler’s lid was held up by its latch and Nicholas was perfectly safe. But with a tug from Nicholas, the lid shut and he was trapped inside.
Nicholas started screaming right away, and his parents rushed to pull open the cooler.
"We just grabbed him for dear life," Maria remembered. She realizes how lucky she was to hear her son’s cries, and doesn’t want "another family to not hear their child and go through this."
Robert placed the blame on the cooler’s maker, Igloo, and says there should be a way to open the container from inside.
"I know we're all supposed to watch our kids and make sure they don't crawl into a cooler, but as we know, it only takes a second to turn the other way," he said.
In response, Igloo issued a voluntary recall of four products last week.
"We are very sorry for the scare this incident must have caused the child and his family, and very happy no one was injured," the company said in a statement.
But Igloo also says there was a "performance malfunction" with the cooler’s latch that let the lid shut on Nicholas. The company says three products with the same latch have been recalled, along with the specific model Nicholas was trapped inside.
The four products affected are "Igloo Marine Elite" coolers sold at West Marine stores and marketed towards boaters. Igloo says some customers will be sent free "latch-replacement kits" to make their coolers safer.
Here is a complete list of the recalled products:
- Igloo Marine Elite 72 quart; Item #00049375
- Igloo Marine Elite 54 quart; Item #00049374
- Igloo Marine Elite 94 quart; Item #00049574
- Igloo Marine Elite 110 quart; Item #00034108
You can contact Igloo toll-free to request a latch-replacement kit at 1(888)-257-0934.