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Save Yourself During a Riptide

Atlantic Beach Tragedy

Float Don’t Fight!

By Ali Joy

It was Father’s Day weekend 2018 when I lost my husband.  Austin and I had taken the children on a surprise vacation to Atlantic Beach, NC.  We had spent a beautiful day picnicking, gathering shells and exploring Shackleford Banks.


That evening we went to the beach, which was still crowded 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 all 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.  There was an amazing young lady who took care of us on the beach , drove us to the hospital, and stayed with us until family arrived.


As a survivor of an underestimated killer – more than tornadoes, lightening and sharks combined annually, I want to share what I learned that may help you:  One, bring a floatation device to the beach.  Two, grab a floatation device before you go out to save someone. Three, if you find yourself in a rip current, float, don’t fight!


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