Rip Currents and Swimming Lessons for Dads.

Townsend Russell
3 min readAug 19, 2021


Reading a story about a father and son killed in a Rip Current in North Carolina. All too common occurrence in the news cycle in Florida where I call home.

See Article Below.

100% Dad talks pretty routinely about the role of Protecting for Dads. Drowning is a leading cause of death in children. And it’s mostly preventable. In America’s most phallic state (Florida) we are surrounded by water on 3 sides. ANd we have ponds and lakes every 7 1/2 Feet in any direction. For the most part, Floridians grow up learning how to swim….because water is our life.

The biggest trend of the last decade has been floating techniques for little kids. ISR was the program each of our 3 little ones were trained very early in life. We had a local teacher in St. Augustine, FL that did a great job with our kids. While the program is not 100% because kids are stubborn and one of ours just didn’t have a body that floated well….it was still an effective technique for emergencies.

The technique is simply survival. It’s not swimming. It’s getting air without tiring yourself out. And for the most part, that’s what we want our kids to do…. breathe and be able to yell for help.

Drowning kids don’t scream for help. They can’t breathe. They are under the water or desperately gasping for air. It’s often a silent event despite tv and movies showing otherwise. Our kids are trained to flip to their backs and float when tired or panicked. They can yell from there.

The swimming lesson comes after floating. Now our family has never paid for lessons or joined a local swim center that gives free lessons. Our kids just spent so much time in the water they figured out how to move in the water. Of course, we have no Olympians in our family.

Floating is an amazing technique for infants and toddlers in emergency situations. Falling in by accident, going overboard, or simply tired swimmers.

Swimming is necessary for older kids. Even if you do not live near water, eventually one day your kid will be at a friend’s house, a boat, a hotel, a vacation destination where there is water. Having a life-saving skill like swimming is necessary in today’s world. Plus water is fun…enjoy it!!

Now let’s talk about these riptides. It’s common in Florida and ocean beaches. Great swimmers and floater can be caught off guard. That’s why a place like 100% Dad exists. We tell you things you may not know because knowledge is power. It’s hard to fault people who have died in Rip Currents because they didn’t know…..they just didn’t know. A strong swimmer can be killed by them….yet a mediocre swimmer can escape….its all about knowledge.

Rip Currents pull you away from the beach and out to sea. It’s scary. People’s natural instinct is to swim back to the beach. But the force of water pulling you is strong. It will make you tired…fast. So the way to get out of a rip current is to swim sideways…that is parallel to the shore. Don’t swim into the beach. Swim sideways because rip currents are relatively narrow. Swim till it stops pulling you. Then you can swim to shore much easier!!

We remind our kids often. We quiz them. What do you do if you feel yourself being pulled out to sea? What happens if you try to swim to the beach? We tell them it’s okay to be pulled out while swimming sideways. Don’t panic. Just swim sideways until you are free of it. Float if you get tired and hollar for help.

We are currently over on the Oregon Coast where we learned about tsunamis (rare occurrence) and sneaker waves ( more common). So we pulled up our handy dandy phones and learned about those sneaker waves and how to handle that situation if it occurs while we are on the beach.

Drowning is preventable most of the time. Invest the time into teaching our kids how to float and swim. Be aware of local water issues!