In Memory of Those That Were Lost
This page is dedicated to those that have lost their lives from under water breath-holding. If you have lost a loved one to shallow water blackout or breath-holding, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the person’s name and a short bio and we will include it on this site.
Jack Alexander Kevin MacMillan (November 10, 2000 – January 29, 2013)
Twelve year old Jack is described by his family as a “beautiful, gentle, loving, caring young man. He was passionate about sports. He played soccer and cricket from a young age. He played tennis each week and was due to start drumming lessons the day after his passing. He was an avid reader, whether a book, his kindle, kids national geographic, or even the newspaper (sports section in particular.) He was a great mate, friendly and easily made friends. While he loved his PlayStation and Nerf gun wars, he was conscious of having a healthy balance of being outdoors. Jack was a wonderful big brother to his 3 sisters, a beautiful role model. They have lost their guide, entertainer, future protector and dearest friend.”
Jack tragically lost his life while he was practicing breath-holding in the shallow end of his family’s swimming pool. His mother was close by, as she never left he or his sisters unattended while swimming – yet another tragic example of how SWB claims it’s victims quickly and silently, with no warning to the victim or those around them.
James Alexander (October 26th, 1987-April 20th, 2012)
James was born Oct. 26, 1987, in Kansas City, Kansas, the son of Nancy B. Alexander of New Bern and Dr. L. George Alexander Jr. James attended Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, N.C., for several years of elementary school before the family moved to New Bern in 1995. James attended Arendell Parrott Academy in Kinston, N.C., and graduated in 2006. He was a member and co-captain with his twin brother, David, of the school’s varsity soccer team and a member of the 2006 Division 2A High School Champion Swim Team. James was a North Carolina Scholar, honor student and an active member of a nationally ranked Science Olympiad team, service organizations, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was an Eagle Scout and a member of Troop 13 as well as the Order of the Arrow.
James had attempted to dive to the bottom of Solomon Bay in the Virgin Islands, but never came up alive. James was freediving with his twin brother, David. They Both graduated from Arendell Parrot Academy in 2006. In addition to his parents, James is survived by his twin brother and best friend, David, of New Bern, N.C; his sisters, Virginia of San Francisco, Calif., and Lauren of Charlotte, N.C.; his maternal grandparents, John and Reva Burns of Gainesville, Fla.; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and close friends. His paternal grandparents, Leon and Virginia Alexander, of Charlotte, N.C., preceded him in death.
Vincent Casper Lemmer, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Vincent Lemmer died on December 11. 2011, At age 21. He was a qualified Dive Master and loved to be under the water. He was enjoying a fun day with his friends, practicing diving in a scuba training pool. He went for a dive near the training pool’s “cave” and never came back to the water’s surface. After many hours of searching for him, his best friend found him at the entrance of the cave. His beloved girlfriend describes him as a “unique human being with a love for the ocean and any “ugly” creature in it.” One of his many goals was to study marine biology. He is survived by his parents Reds and Deirdre, sisters Sanchia and Sinead, his girlfriend Kelly, and many loving friends.
Bohdan Vitenko and Jonathan Proce
These two boys, both age 21, died while doing a Navy SEAL training exercise. Jonathan Proce, of Sunnyside and Bohdan Vitenko were found unconscious in 3 feet of water in a Staten Island public pool on Wednesday July 13, 2011. The pair were doing breath-holding exercises similar to those used in military training, authorities said. Bohdan Vitenko died at the site of the incident, and Jonanthan Proce, who was a certified lifeguard, later died in the hospital after going into a coma.
Jacob Fowler drowned June 27th, 2011 at the age of 22. Fowler was a counselor at Camp Kulaqua, where he was attempting to dive to the bottom of the lake. The lake is said to be 50 feet deep at some places. Fowler graduated from Riverview High School in 2006 and from the University of South Florida at age 20. He recently completed his second year of education at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton. Fowler is survived by his beloved wife, Diana, parents Bill and Patty Fowler, and his brothers, Matthew and Zachary.
Gene Whitner Milner, III -Atlanta, GA (see Whitner’s story)
Whitner graduated from the University of Georgia in 2009, where he was a member of the Chi Phi fraternity. In high school he was the lacrosse captain his senior year of at Woodward Academy. Working for his father at Milner, Inc. Whitner was a stong asset to the company. He spent his free time playing golf, hunting, fishing, skiing, and boating. Whitner’s enthusiasm about life energized all that were around him. Whitner is survived by his parents; his three siblings, Kathryn Lillian Milner, Cason Lanier Milner, and Helen Scott “Scottie” Milner, and his beloved girlfriend Laura Dobrofsky.
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 passed away later in the Hospital. David was a smart and passionate man, who took every opportunity to learn. He was elected as a board member of the Political Science Honors Society at Utah State University. David loved the mountains in Utah and was an avid skier and snowboarder. He also enjoyed hiking and backpacking with his father and friends. David is survived by his parents Mark David and Vickie Edgley Heiner, and three siblings, Rebecca, Daniel, and Nathan
Toby Blanck at Sierra Tucson Rehab. Toby Blanck, died March 18th, 2007 at age 33 in a drowning accident in Tucson, Arizona. He was doing an under-water swim – an exercise where you swim under water for as long as possible. It is practiced by almost all swimmers in order to increase lung capacity. Toby was trim, and fit; he exercised regularly and vigorously. He loved the outdoors and backpacked often. Toby was posthumously awarded a Life Time Achievement award at the Teva Mountain Games in Vail, Co, on June 1st, 2007.
Clifford died November 7th, 2004 in a drowning accident at his schools private swimming pool. Clifford was a star athlete and a straight A student when his life was tragically cut short from Shallow Water Blackout at the age of 15. Clifford drowned in 4 feet of water at the Concord private school’s brand new swimming pool. Clifford was a sophomore at Saint Paul’s school in Concord, NH. Clifford is survived by his parents, Lee and Leslie Nyquist, and his two sisters, Christina and Carla.
Adam D. Toombs at Anderson University in Indiana
Adam D. Toombs, age 15, died April 9th, 2005, at the Saint John’s Medical Center after attending his then 12-year-old sisters birthday party at the Anderson University pool. Adam was a smart, athletic young man who was a sincere friend. He always wanted to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. Adam is survived by his parents David and Patricia Toombs, and his sister Cheyenne.
Born: August 11th, 1974 Died: October 4th, 2002
Audrey was a French World Record setting Freediver. Born into a family of snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiast, Audrey was swimming by age 2 and already a seasoned scuba diver by age 13. In her teens, her family moved to Mexico City. She became fluent in spanish and went on to study Marine Biology at a university in La Paz, Mexico. After graduating she moved to Miami, FL where she met her future husband and fellow diving enthusiast, Francisco Ferreras. On October 4th, 2002 she blacked out and died while attempting to break the World Record at 171 meters. In 2002, she was inducted posthumously into the Women Divers Hall of Fame and in August 2004 a book that tells her story was written by her husband and published under the title The Dive: A Story of Love and Obsession.
Loren Maas, at Kailua Bay, Kona
Loren drowned July 24th, 2001 during a free diving accident in the waters north of Kailua Bay in Kona. Loren was 18 at the time. He and a friend had gone diving about 100 yards offshore.
Thomas J. Flood at Brunswick, GA, YWCA
Thomas J. Flood died May 25th, 2001 at age 24 in a drowning accident at the YWCA in Brunswick, GA. T.J. went to the YWCA to use the swimming pool. T.J. was an experienced swimmer and a civilian employee of the United States Navy. He was using the pool to train for his upcoming course at the Navy’s Surface Rescue Swimmers School (SRS).
The 31-year-old son of champion Ted Warnock, drowned in a warm swimming pool, chest deep. Studying mariculture in Florida, James was excited to hear that the National Spearfishing Championships would be held in an area he knew well. A three-time North Atlantic Spearfishing Champion, James was eager to start training. He purchased a new stop watch and was practicing breath-hold diving in a medical-therapy pool. Rescuers saw James new watch fall from his hand as they pulled him from the water. Sadly, the attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.
Sarp Mustafa Kayan, at Maneo Recreation Center.
Sarp Kayan drowned March 26th, 1999 at the Maneo Recreation Center swimming pool. He told the life guards that he was training for competition. Sarp said he would be attempting to hold his breath for up to five minutes. The lifeguards weren’t paying attention and after 40-45 minutes they realized he hadn’t come up for air. They pulled him out of the water, his equipment indicated that he had been under water for 55 minutes. Their attempts to resuscitate him failed.
Tom Konow, a member of the Danish apnea team, drowned February 2nd, 1999. The tragic incident happened in less than 5 feet of water when he was doing a breathe holding exercise.
Forest James Funk III, age 17, died while swimming alone on July 13, 1962 at lake Rabun. He was a wrestler and athlete at the Westminster School in Atlanta, Ga. He also enjoyed scuba diving and he and his father had been interested in and used a spear gun and swam under the boat house at the lake. The Jimmy Funk scholarship at Westminster is for the Westminster Junior superlative boy. There is also a Wrestling award in his honor. They presumed that the death was from hyperventilating and breathe-holding