Dan O'Shea, Co-Founder Of The Tampa Bay Frogman Swim

Dan O’Shea, Co-Founder Of The Tampa Bay Frogman Swim

Dan O’Shea is a retired Navy SEAL commander and a former counterinsurgency adviser in Afghanistan who was one of the co-founders of the Tampa Bay Frogman Swim in Florida.

Terry TomalinRon Collins, O’Shea and several others swam across Tampa Bay for years. In 2010, O’Shea suggested they turn their New Year’s swim into a fundraiser for Lt. Dan Cnossen, a SEAL officer, who had recently been wounded in Afghanistan. The annual swim has evolved into one of the most successful charity swims in the world, raising US$725,000 in the 2019 event, with over US$3.5 million total on behalf of the Navy SEAL Foundation.

The Tampa Bay Frogman Swim was nominated for the 2019 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year: Charity swims attract all kinds of open water swimmers, from passionate environmentalists and those who remember the namesake of the event to local athletes and those who are simply drawn to the cause. The Tampa Bay Frogman Swim is supported by a wide spectrum of athletes, working exceptionally hard to honor and support the event’s beneficiary: the Navy SEAL Foundation. The 5 km swim in Tampa Bay, Florida is the world’s highest grossing charity swim per swimmer that raised over $725,000 in its 2019 event with only 164 swimmers. Because 100% of the proceeds support wounded and fallen Navy SEALs and their families, the success of this event is off the charts. Its start is solemn with a dignified military ceremony that is reflective and dramatic. The swim is not easy with swirling currents and low water temperatures, symbolic of the challenges that Navy SEALs face. Its finish is festive and celebratory. For the all-volunteer professional organization of the event by retired military officers, for the safe production of a challenging swim that has since expanded throughout the United States, for the selfless and extraordinarily generous support of military personnel and their families, the Tampa Bay Frogman Swim in Florida is a worthy nominee for the 2019 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

O’Shea lives by the SEAL ethos: never leave a man behind.

Most recently, O’Shea was part of Task Force Pineapple, a private volunteer group of military veterans who serve to evacuate American citizens and Afghan allies and their families, following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. Read more about their story here.

Copyright © 2008 – 2021 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Steven Munatones