About Us

In 2011 Whitner Milner died in his family’s pool. That same year his family founded the organization Shallow Water Blackout Prevention to prevent more senseless deaths.

SWBP is pleased to partner with many people and organizations in the aquatics community. Any time these logos are present it represents an organization dedicated to preventing SWB and to raising awareness of the dangers of underwater breath-holding.


Mission Statement: Our mission is to prevent senseless deaths from underwater blackout through awareness and education.

Our Goals:

  1. To ban prolonged breath-holding in pools for the general public.*
  2. To educate parents and children on the risks and dangers of underwater breath-holding and the dangers of breath-holding games.
  3. To advocate for warning tags on the dangers and risks of underwater breath-holding on all freediving, spearfishing, and snorkeling equipment. Click here to see a sample tag.
  4. To encourage all freedivers and spearfishers to receive safety training.

* We believe qualified breath-hold freedive training agencies need access to public pools during non-general public usage with lifeguards on duty. Using the buddy system, proper supervision, and training protocols with continuous monitoring, along with waivers by participants to protect the facility and staff, freediving may be practiced safely.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”


Rhonda Dawes Milner, MD – Chairman/CEO (mother of SWB victim)
Tom Griffiths, Ed.D.– Vice-Chairman (founder of Aquatic Safety Research Group and retired Director of Aquatics and Safety for Penn State)
Britt Jackson – Executive Director (friend of family)
Gene W. Milner Jr. – Treasurer (father of SWB victim)
Cason Milner – Secretary (brother of SWB victim)

Board of Advisors:

Bill Baker (Rec. swimmer)
Michelle Brislen (Wife of SWB victim)
Michael Crocker (Friend of SWB victim)
Karen A. Curreri (Mother of Victim)
Laura Dobrosky (Girlfriend of SWB victim)
Brian Francis (Friend of SWB victim)
Amanda Gonzales (Mother of SWB survivor)
Jeremiah Gonzales (Father of SWB survivor)
Salena Gonzales (SWB survivor)
John Gordon, Esq. (Uncle of SWB victim)
Rachel Griffiths (Aquatic Safety Research Group)
Dean Haller (Father of SWB victim)
Ted Harty (Immersionfreediving.com– Professional Freediver, holds national record in freediving)
William Hollis (Friend of SWB victim)
Mark Kaufman (Friend of SWB victim)
Helen McSwain, M.D. (Sister of SWB victim)
Megan Melgaard (US Swim Team member)
Harrison Merrill (Spearfisherman and friend of SWB victim)
Charles Milner (Cousin of SWB victim)
Kathryn Milner (Sister of SWB victim)
Lanier Milner (Cousin of SWB victim)
Helen Scott Milner (Scottie) (Sister of SWB victim)
Julian Ottley (Survivor of SWB)
John and Sandy Pilotte (Parents of SWB survivor)
Susan Proce (Mother of SWB victim)
Ted Reckas (Recreational freediver)
Deede Sharpe (Girlfriend of SWB victim)
Crawford Sites (Spearfisherman and friend of SWB victim)
Ryan Sugrue (Friend of SWB victim)
Vasas Szilvia M.D. (Pulmonary Specialist)
Julie Tate (Mother of SWB survivor)
Katie Tate (Survivor of SWB)
Gary Thill (Interactive Director, Pool and Spa News, Aquatics International at Hanley Wood)
Sharon and Gary Washbourne (Aunt and Uncle of SWB victim. Founders of Shallow Water Blackout Australia)
Carolyn Wills (cousin of SWB victim)