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Blog post by Michelle Ferrara (Jack’s Mum)

January 28, 2015


It’s hard to even comprehend that it’s 2 years since that fateful day that took Jack’s precious young life way too soon 😓 It’s not a journey that any parent should ever have to endure and his loss is an ache that is felt everyday. The best we can do is to remember the absolute joy he brought to our lives. Jack was a kind, loving and sensitive boy who loved his sport, loved his mates, loved his family, so many things to even put into words. It will always be hard to resolve why this happened but he has become a hero in his right with the awareness campaign for Shallow Water Blackout. I can’t even begin to thank my sister Sharon and brother-in-law Gary enough for their amazing commitment to save lives via SWB education. I thank everyone who has continued to support me on this nightmare journey, my husband, my daughters, my family and friends, and those of you who are supporting the awareness campaign and spreading this important message. I have realised since 60 Minutes that I must look after myself so I can look after my family and although it is often terribly hard to face each day without my son, I soldier on to be the best mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend that I can be. Jack MacMillan you are a true hero, shining bright, holding a special place in my heart forever my beautiful son. Each new day means another day we are closer to being together again. You are loved so very very much and I look forward to our hugs and chats in my dreams and cherishing every wonderful memory of your life 💜💜

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news local

Holding breath underwater can cause deadly blackouts, warn experts.

Parents should ban their children from playing competitive breath holding games underwater because it can cause sudden death, warns a northern beaches swimming coach.

Pat Taylor, a swimming teacher of 50 years, said the dangers of shallow water blackouts, where people faint while underwater due to prolonged and repetitive breath-holding, was being taken seriously within the swimming community.

“It’s something kids have always done. But it’s scary because there have been deaths,” she said.

Mrs Taylor said it was important to educate parents about the dangers in time for the school holidays.

Read the full article here:

Dangerous Holding Breath Poster

November 11, 2014



Sydney Aquarium used a dangerous slogan as part of their recent marketing campaign, encouraging children to hold their breath for as long as a Dugong. Read Mamamia’s article here:

Nic Fisher’s Story

November 11, 2014



Carly Jayet shares how Shallow Water Blackout claimed the life of her younger brother on Mamamia here:

Reporter Interview – 60 Minutes


“It’s something that we’ve all done” – Allison Langdon on the dangers of holding your breath in the backyard pool. Watch the reporter interview here in extra minutes:

60 Minutes EXTRA Minutes

extra minutes

CEO of Aust Swimming, Coaches and Teachers Association, Ross Gage, explains hypoxic training and the new guidelines keeping swimmers safe. Watch here:

60 Minutes Main Feature Story

60 minutes 1

“One moment 12-year-old Jack MacMillan was happily splashing about in the family pool. Within minutes, he was dead. There was no cry for help, no desperate fight for his final breath. Jack was the victim of a deadly but little-known condition called Shallow Water Blackout. It’s brought on by the simple act of holding your breath underwater and its thought to be the number one cause of drowning among competent swimmers. Kids are at risk in backyard pools right across the country and, believe it or not, they’re even more at risk in swim squads at the local public pool. Swimming Australia is scrambling to re-issue it’s guidelines around hypoxic training but, as Allison Langdon discovered, even our top swimming coaches can’t agree on what’s safe for our kids.” 60 Minutes

Watch the story here:

Swimming World, USA

swimming world

Preventing Shallow Water Blackout, A Leading Cause of In-Water Death Among Competitive Swimmers

In this video interview from American Swim Coaches Association’s world clinic, Dr. Rhonda Milner talks about the tragic death of her son from shallow water blackout that prompted her to create to educate people on the dangers of hypoxic training and why many don’t often see the danger until it’s too late.


Read the full article from Swimming World, USA here:

Behind The News

behind the news

ABC 3 aired a story on Shallow Water Blackout on their news broadcast aimed at primary school students in Australia. We were glad for their support in spreading the message of the dangers of repeat breathe holding.

Channel Seven Interview


Water safety group Shallow Water Blackout are warning parents to always watch children around water.

To watch the interview Sharon Washbourne had with Channel Seven news please visit their website:


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