Conference on Near-Death Experiences while Drowning

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL: The International Swimming Hall of Fame will host a fascinating and
visionary “
Conference on
Near-Death Experiences While Drowning”
, on Friday, August 18th,
2017. Since its inception in 1965, ISHOF has been the “Mecca of Aquatics,”
bringing together many fascinating people and acting as the facilitator for
knowledge exchange. This conference aims to bring attention to near-death
experiences during a drowning episode, a very important issue largely neglected
by most aquatic safety professionals.

I could see, floating in the air,
the lifeguards attempting to resuscitate a lifeless body; it was mine.”

saw a bright light that asked me, in a life review, what I have done in my life
for love and learning.”
I felt peace and no fear of death.” These
are the words of people reporting what they experienced during the time they
“died” temporarily during a drowning episode, as reported by Holden and
Avramidis in their book Near-Death
Experiences While Drowning.
Such Reports are termed near-death experiences
(NDEs). Contemporary advances in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and
defibrillation have enabled lifeguards and first responders to bring large
numbers of victims back to life, heretofore unprecedented in human history. Of
the millions of those who survive drowning each year, approximately 20% of
survivors report NDEs.

Often when victims
report their NDEs to health care providers and first responders, due to lack of
information, the confidantes may label the experience or experiencer as
pathological. However, research shows no relationship between NDEs and mental
disorder. When a Near Death Experience is discounted, it becomes
psychologically disconcerting to survivors. Similarly, the survivors or their
families may believe that the experiencers have lost touch with reality. Presenters
at this conference will discuss NDE characteristics that a successfully
resuscitated drowning casualty might report; provide a sample of drowning NDE
accounts; offer recommendations for how water safety and other healthcare professionals
can use NDE related information in their work; and, include a poster session
open to any water safety- and aquatic-related professional to provide information
relevant to drowning in terms of prevention, rescue, and treatment. This
conference will provide a day of insight into this unique phenomenon, along
with providing useful professional information for first responders and medical

Conference presenters
include: Bruce Wigo¸ J.D., ISHOF

President and CEO, discussing the importance of hosting a conference on
Drowning Related NDEs; Stathis Avramidis,
DipEd, BEd, MSc, MPH, PhD, Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Seasonal
Instructor of Applied Lifeguarding and Lifesaving Sport at the University of
Athens, Greece, Greece, who will discuss the “NDE Mnemonic” and NDE
Protocol”: Two Useful Tools for Lifeguards; Dr. Janice Miner Holden, Professor of Counseling and Chair of
the Department of Counseling and Higher Education, University of North Texas
(UNT), who will present, “Near-Death Experiences: An Overview of 40 Years of
Research”. Other speakers include: Audrey
C. Dalton
, survivor of a drowning incident who will recount her Near Death
Experience; John Spannuth,
President and CEO, United States Water Fitness Association who will
discuss the Importance of
Swimming and Lifeguard Lessons; and
Aquatics and Drowning Prevention professional Kim Burgess, who will discuss why learning about drowning is
informative to Aquatic Safety Professionals, First Responders and Survivor

Conference information can be found online at Conference registration
is available on the ISHOF
Luncheon and refreshments are included in the conference fees. Please note in
addition to conference fees, City of Ft. Lauderdale parking fees will apply for
all parking facilities, including the International Swimming Hall of Fame. All
fees act as a donation to the International Swimming Hall of Fame.


the International Swimming Hall of Fame

The International Hall of Fame, established in 1965,
is a not-for-profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale,
Florida. Its mission is to promote the benefits and importance of swimming as a
key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of all
adults and children. It accomplishes this through operation of the
International Swimming Hall of Fame,
a dynamic shrine dedicated to preserving the history of swimming, the memory
and recognition of the famous swimmers, divers, water polo players,
synchronized swimmers and people involved in life saving activities and
education whose lives and accomplishments inspire, educate, and provide role
models for people around the world. For more information contact Bruce Wigo at
954-462-6536 ext. 201, or by email

To learn more about the International Swimming Hall of
Fame participants and activities or to donate, please visit:




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