Float, Don't Fight By Dan Wroblewski

Pictured above are Ali and Austin Joy


Publisher Note: With Beach season upon us, I thought it would be helpful to everyone to remind you about the danger of rip currents. On June 15, 2018, our family was affected by the events of a rip current forever as my son and I were part of the rescue of the Joy family. My son almost drowned that day trying to save their family members. He swam out and was the first to reach them, yelling to everyone to float on their backs, trying to save their lives.

Below is the story from Ali Joy, whose husband, Austin drowned that day. She has since founded “Float, don’t Fight,” a non-profit spreading the word of the dangers of ripe currents and reminding everyone that if you get caught in a rip current, to “Float, Don’t Fight!” www.floatdontfight.org


Here’s Ali’s story:


It was Father’s Day weekend when I lost my husband. Austin and I had taken the children on a surprise vacation to Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. We spent a beautiful day picnicking, gathering shells and exploring Shackleford Banks.

That evening we went to the beach, which was still crowed and festive. Minutes after finding a spot, a rip current captured our twin daughters. My husband said “the girls are too far out.” He ran, I ran. Austin got to them but we continued to struggle in the breaking waves where we could not stand.


Austin did not make it, but the three of us did, thanks to the help of Marines and surfers, the woman who called 911, the men and women who helped the marines bring us in; and an amazing young lady who took care of us on the beach, drove us to the hospital and stayed with us till family arrived.



As a survivor of an underestimated killer – more than tornadoes, lightening and sharks combined annually, I want to share what I learned may help you. One, bring a floatation device to the beach. Two, grab a floatation device before you go to save someone. And three, if you find yourself in a rip current-----Float, Don’t Fight!

Ali Joy