TAMPA, Florida -- Getting out alive.
That's was the focus Friday morning for a few dozen military members from MacDill Air Force Base as they held water survival training at Adventure Island. But for them, there wasn't a lot of fun in the sun.
"If you're not used to it, it's pretty grueling," said U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant Dan Komnick.
Photo Gallery: Military uses theme park for survival training
They call it "basic" water survival, but don't let the name fool you.
"I don't enjoy it," said U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Tom Greene, "but it's necessary."
Dressed in full fatigues -- including long sleeves, long pants, and combat boots -- the training includes 50 meter breast and side strokes, a 20 minute "dead man's float," and then 20 minutes of treading water.
"Your boots are like weights, so they pull you down. It's a lot of endurance building," Komnick said.
It helps them prepare for a mission where they might need to jump out of a helicopter into some water, or a water rescue operation.
"It's the difference between life and death sometimes," Komnick explained.
The training is held every three months. After finishing up two hours worth Friday morning, a number of the service members joined their families for an afternoon of enjoying the theme park.
Any active military member and up to three dependents are eligible for free admission to the park every six months.
For more information go to www.herosalute.com.