Shallow Water Blackout Prevention A Mother’s Tragic Story
Photograph of Whitner on his last day at the Atlanta Steeplechase on April 16, 2011
Whitner was found inthe deep end on thebottom of our pooljust beyond the ladderunder our dog
Gene Whitner Milner III ObituaryGene Whitner Milner III went to be with his heavenly father April 17, 2011.He died in a tragic accident in the family swimming pool in Atlanta.Whitner was born at Piedmont Hospital December 10, 1985 to Rhonda DawesMilner, MD and Gene Whitner “Dusty” Milner, Jr., and was preceded in deathby his grandfathers Gene Whitner “Jicker” Milner and William Alger Dawes,Jr., and step-grandfather Major General L. Render Braswell, MD.Whitner was a 2004 graduate of Woodward Academy in Atlanta, Georgia andgraduated from the University of Georgia in 2009, where he was a member ofChi Phi fraternity. He was an avid lacrosse player at Woodward, where hereceived the most improved player award as team captain his senior year.Whitner was a near scratch golfer and spent his spare time golfing, hunting,fishing, snow skiing, and boating. He also ran a half marathon with hismother without training, finishing in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Whitner wasan avid spear fisherman and an accomplished free-diver who couldhold his breath for over 3 minutes. He loved animals and was devoted tohis labs, Red and Bella.
Atlanta Journal Constitution ArticleJune 27, 2011 Atlanta Journal Constitution’s article on Shallow Water Blackout called“Underwater blackout a dangerous game.”
Drew BrislenMichele Brislen, widow of 40 year-old free diver Andrew Brislen, wants toeducate people about the danger of shallow water blackout, which led to herhusband’s death near Laguna’s Picnic Beach on May 26, 2011.
Friend of Cousin dies in FL Jacob Fowler Jacob Fowler drowned June 27th, 2011 at the age of 22.Fowler was a counselor at Camp Kulaqua, where he was attempting todive to the bottom of the lake.
Jonathan Proce and Bohdan Vitenko July 13, 2011Drown in 3 feet of water in a Staten Island Public Pool
Victims’ Memorials David Heiner died June 18, 2008, at the age of 19. David was in critical condition after a near drowning accident at Cedarbrook Country Club in Charlotte, NC. He was a honor student at Utah State University. Clifford Nyquist age 15 died November 7th, 2004 in a drowning accident at his schools private swimming pool. In 4 ft of water. Clifford was a star athlete and a straight A student when his life was tragically cut short from Shallow Water Blackout.
Jimmy FunkDied 50 years ago Forest James Funk III, died swimming alone at Lake Rabun at age 17 in 1962. He was a wrestler and athlete at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Ga. He also enjoyed scuba diving, and he and his father, a physician, had used a spear gun swimming under their boat dock. At Westminster he was a Junior Superlative. There is a Wrestling award in his honor. They presumed that the death was from hyperventilating and breathe-holding.
Survivor storiesSurvivor stories are important because they emphasize there isno warning and the fitness of the victims having nothing to dowith their risk. Also, intentional hyperventilation may not beinvolved.Summer 2011 Chase M. a 26 year-old male was swimming competitively withfriends breath-holding passes out underwater and is rescued. He knew Whitnerand how he died.Summer 2010 Cason, Whitner’s 22 year-old brother, swims underwater withhis brother without hyperventilation emerges cyanotic.Fall 2005 Brian Larue practicing brick-walking breath-holding passes outunderwater.Summer 1986 Julian Otley, 15 years-old, becomes unconscious swimmingunderwater.
Athletic Business September 2011 The Deathly Shadows GAME ON - GAME OVER Victims of shallow water blackout are often: Participants in underwater breath-holding contests and Can drown within two and a half minutes.Read the rest of this article here: http://athleticbusiness.com/editors
Aquatics International November/December 2011 “Deathly Shallow’s” ArticleA poorly understood phenomenon is killing strong swimmers.Experts say it’s time for the aquatics industry to take action or facethe consequences.Please read the article in Aquatics International here:http://www.aquaticsintl.com/2011/nov/1111_breathe.html
Vincent LemmerSat Dec 24 07:52:12 2011Subject: Vincent LemmerMy gentle nephew, Vincent Lemmer aged 21, died 11 December 2011.He was a qualified Dive Master and loved to be under the water.He went for a dive in the scuba training pool "cave". And never came out.We miss you so Vincent.This email was received from Johannesburg, South Africa on Christmas Eve.This is a Global Problem.
Goals Signage at public pools Children to grow up knowing underwater breath-holding is dangerous not a game Warning labels on spearfishing equipment Online safety course for spearfishing and freediving Spear-hunting fishing license requiring safety course
SWB PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE PAST WWII: U.S. Diver’s Manual describes SWB YMCA: All “On the Guard” texts 1983: ARC Lifeguarding Manual warns of SWB 1985: Sport SCUBA Diving in Depth 1995: ARC Lifeguarding Manual describes SWB 1995: Silent but Deadly; Dying for Air; 7 Deadly Sins (A.I., A.B.)
Present Current ARC Lifeguarding texts make vague references to hyperventilation. 2008: David Blaine holds his breath on the Oprah Winfrey Show 2008: 3 YMCA swimmers die of SWB, 3 Synchronized swimmers pass out simultaneously 2008: Shallow Water Blackout video released 2008: Safety Training for Swim Coaches (ARC, USA Swimming) ban hypoxic training.
Future Dr. Rhonda Milner extraordinary efforts through SWBP.org. Victim memorials wanted. 2012 ARC Manual promises to have huge warnings vs. SWB Redwoods Insurance Group stresses SWB warnings to lifeguards at JCC and YMCA through print and video Clarion Safety Systems develop FIRST ANSI/ISO/DOT compliant SWB Warnings
!!!ZERO TOLERANCE!!! BAN: long breath-holding, U/W swimming, hypoxic training in ALL POOLS! EDUCATE: Health Departments, MAHC, Schools, P&R, Admins., and others! POST: CLEAR, CONCISE, WARNINGS in three conspicuous places (3 strikes) GET: Administrators, Supervisors, Lifeguards, and patrons all on the same page BOMBARD: Coaches with literature