Marine deputies save father, son that pulled 100 yards offshore by rip current

A father and his young son vacationing on Anna Maria Island from Europe are breathing a sigh of relief after being pulled 100 yards offshore by a rip current.

According to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, the pair were swimming off Bean Point on Anna Maria Island when a strong current pulled them from the shore.

"Happenstance, we happened to be there at the right place at the right time. Picked them up and carried them back to the beach and reunited them with their family," said Sgt. Russell Schnering with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office's Marine Unit.

Marine deputies with MCSO saw the distressed swimmers while they were on patrol and quickly pulled them onto their boat before safely bringing them back to the beach.

"I’ll get the door. Just hold them," said the deputies on body camera footage.

READ: Video: Father, son caught in rip current rescued by marine deputies off Anna Maria Island

Deputies say the father and son duo spoke little English and seemed unaware of rip currents common to Bean Pointe along Anna Maria Island.

"It was shocking because you could obviously tell they were in distress. The father was exhausted, and his little son was definitely scared," said Deputy Alan Judy, who assisted with the rescue.

Deputies stress the importance of knowing when and where stronger currents may be.

"We were surprised because so many people were on the beach, and no one had called 911. No one called it in, but it's because it just happened. Before you realize it, you're too far away, and they weren't strong enough to swim back against the current," said Sgt. Schnering.

While it can be unnerving, Sgt. Schnering said relaxing and going with the flow can save your life.

MORE: PCSO: Father, 10-year-old girl drown off Pass-a-Grille

"The most important thing is to not swim against the tide now. They would have eventually just gotten swept way out, and what we recommend when you’re in that position is just relax. Don’t hyperventilate. Don’t get too excited. Just try and relax and don’t use all of your energy until it starts to subside and slow down a little bit, and then maybe try to parallel the beach and come in a different route," he said.

A father and daughter died on Pass-a-Grille that same weekend while caught in another current. Deputies know each rescue can end differently, but they hope it’s a reminder to know your surroundings.

"It’s not just us. Of course, we are out looking. Lifeguards are looking from the towers. Its other people on the beach we ask them just be vigilant. If you see somebody in distress. They say drowning is the silent killer. Once you are down, nobody knows," said Sgt. Schnering.