Skip to content

A site dedicated to educating Australians about drowning risks from 'Shallow Water Blackout' due to breath holding in water

This site is in loving memory of Jack MacMillan

This site was started in February 2013 following the tragic death of our precious Jack MacMillan. Jack was 12 years old and was doing what most Australian kids do in the pool each summer.

It is our hope to educate others about the risks associated with breath holding in swimming pools and to raise awareness of the need for signage at public and private pools across Australia.

Shallow Water Blackout can be caused by repetitive, competitive or continuous breath holding or by taking several very deep breaths, or hyperventilating, just before diving underwater. Swimmers pass out due to the lack of oxygen (O2) and lower than normal carbon dioxide (CO2) levels of which the CO2 levels do not increase high enough to trigger the urgent need to breathe, resulting in unconsciousness/blackout! After this occurs the delayed trigger to breathe results in water quickly filling their lungs whilst unconscious. Death or brain damage occurs much sooner than the usual form of drowning.We want to raise awareness to save other lives.

Please visit our media page to read press coverage and to listen to interviews. To listen to Michelle’s interview with Richard Glover, please click here: ABC 702 Please be patient as it is a large file. To listen to Gary Washbourne’s (Jack’s uncle) interview with Kyle and Jackie O on 2DayFM please click here: Kyle and Jackie O segment

We have put together a downloadable PDF brochure that you can print off for handy reference or to give to friends and your local swimming centre and school. Please click here: Shallow Water Blackout Brochure. The brochures are available for ordering also, please email Sharon to place your order and arrange payment. Or free download attached.

To read an article by international SWB professional Dr Tom Griffiths on Shallow Water Blackout Click Here (this will take you to Get Out There site)

60 Minutes aired a Warning to all families on the Dangers of Shallow Water Blackout – A Silent Killer and reported on Jack’s Story, with interviews with his family, dated 26th October 2014. If you missed the episode on Channel Nine with Allison Langdon, click the 9now link ….