Bode Miller and His Wife Open Up About Daughter's Tragic Drowning: "It Just Happens in the Blink of an Eye"

Morgan Beck Miller and the Olympic skier opened up about the heartbreaking incident to Today

By Elyse Dupre Jul 27, 2018 1:03 PMTags

Bode Miller is opening up about the tragic drowning of his 19-month-old daughter, Emeline.

Today aired a preview of Savannah Guthrie's sit-down interview with the Olympic skier on Friday.

"I can attest from firsthand experience now that it's unbelievable quick and unbelievable sneaky," he said. "You'd think it's be like some weird circumstance or some strange thing, and it's not. It just happens in the blink of an eye."

His wife, Morgan Beck Miller, joined him for the interview and teared up recalling the devastating incident.

"And it is literally—a child under 30 pounds can drown in 30 seconds," the volleyball player said, "And I just keep counting to 30 in my head. That was all I needed." 

She then issued a safety warning to parents.

"And so it's one of those things where, as a parent now, when you go to someone else's house, survey the home to see if it's a safe place for your child to be," she said.

According to Today, the family is speaking out to increase awareness about drowning and how it is a common cause of death among young children.

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Back in June, Captain Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority told E! News the OCFA responded to a drowning call Saturday, June 9 around 6:30 p.m. 

"The mother of the child was at a neighbor's house and somehow the little girl got away for a short amount of time," he said. "When the mother realized it, she went directly to the backyard and found her daughter in the pool. She was able to pull her daughter out. 911 was immediately called. CRP was initiated by people already at the scene." 

Concialdi said fire paramedics took over the care and advanced life-saving measures upon arriving at the scene. Emeline, otherwise known as Emmy, was taken to Mission Hospital in "grave condition," specifically full cardiac arrest. She passed away on Sunday, June 10.

"This is extremely tragic for everybody," he added, "for the family, for the neighbors and the community, as well as the first responders including sheriff's deputies [and] fire paramedics….These calls are one of the worst calls that firefighter paramedics respond to....This is a public safety message. Children are so quickly drawn to water. They think it's playtime and they don't see the danger. These types of calls happen so quickly."

Bode later broke the heartbreaking news to his followers on social media.

"We are beyond devastated. Our baby girl, Emmy, passed away yesterday," he wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of his baby girl. "Never in a million years did we think we would experience a pain like this. Her love, her light, her spirit will never be forgotten. Our little girl loved life and lived it to it's fullest everyday. Our family respectfully requests privacy during this painful time."

Later that month, he thanked the couple's family, friends and followers for their support during this difficult time. He also revealed that their midwives had set up a GoFundMe campaign and that the parents intended to donate the funds to causes connected to water safety education.

"We are inspired to make our baby girls memory go forth and help prevent as many drownings as possible," part of another Instagram post read.

Bode and Morgan have three other children and are expecting another baby in October.

The full interview will air Monday, July 30 on Today.

(E! and NBC News are both part of NBCUniversal).