Hero Father Dies Saving Young Sons

On Saturday, April 10th, a Richmond family went to Surfside for a day at the beach. However, the outing quickly turned tragic. The surf looked a bit rough, but not exceptional and the family’s two young boys ventured out into it. However, when they got about 50’ from shore, both were quickly caught in a strong rip tide and were both fast swept 50-60 yards out. Seeing them both struggling, their father rushed into the surf and started swimming as fast as he could towards them.

However, by the time he reached them all three were far offshore. Two other men, seeing their distress, also dove in to help them as both of them had military training as water rescues. With the aid of a surfboard they managed to get all three swimmers back to shore, but during that effort the father stopped breathing. The two rescuers tried CPR until paramedics arrived, but efforts to revive him failed and he was pronounced dead at the scene. The family is said to be devastated by his loss and the rescuers called him a true hero, dying to save his beloved sons.

Every spring we are reminded anew that as lovely as the Gulf waters look from shore, the strong currents and tides they hide can be deadly. Young children should never be allowed to enter the surf unattended by adults and safety gear such as life vests are mandatory. Once you’re in a rip tide, it's often too late. Beach swimming is a delight, but it never comes without risk. Enjoy, but please do so safely!