Congrats to our 2015 Scholarship winners!

Congratulations to Andre Adam, Da’Quecye Swain, and Erin Cole for winning our Undergraduate Scholarship prize of $500 each.

Congratulations to William Koon and Trevor MacDonald for winning our Postgraduate Scholarship prize of $1,000 each.

Once again, all our applicants were outstanding. Fortunately, this year we had it a little easier because Martin’s brother Seth Hedstrom, an author who writes under the name Seth King, was able to raise an additional $5,000 through Pilot Pen’s Signature Cause and additional private donations. That meant more scholarships. Seth was a lifeguard himself we thank him for continuing to support drowning prevention!

On to the winners!

William Koon

William Koon has travelled the world to bring access to emergency medicine and professional rescue to low and middle-income countries. He has trained lifeguards in many developing nations, including the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Mexico, and delivered a Congressional address at the U.S. Capitol regarding an online tracker for international drowning incidents developed with ISLA. He is pursuing a Masters in Public Health at the University of Washington.



Trevor MacDonald recognizes the scarcity of research that has been conducted within the field of open water lifesaving and aims to do something about it. His Masters thesis at California State University Los Angeles is titled “Strategic Assessments as a Lifesaving Tool: An Examination of Expectancy Violation and Strategic Assessments as it Relates to Marine Safety” and aims to collect more data about how California lifeguards parse through large crowds and determine which bathers require closer attention. As a 10 year veteran Huntington Beach lifeguard, it’s a subject he’s more than qualified to tackle.




Andre Adam is a lifesaver out of Hot Water Beach, New Zealand, known for being one of the most dangerous beaches in the country. The nature of his rescue work there inspired him to pursue medicine at Otego University where he has earned top honors and two commendations from the Dean for high marks and work ethic.



Da’Quecye Swain‘s survived drowning experience inspired him to become a lifesaver. He was recently able to return the favor when he performed a double rescue on two brothers who had gone beyond their depth. He is studying communications at Baldwin Wallace University with a triple minor in Politics, Legal studies and Public Relations.



Erin Cole is getting over the heartbreak of leaving her beloved Sonoma County lifeguarding gig for UC San Diego’s halls of academia. Erin spent many years as a junior lifeguard counselor and lifeguard supervisor at Sonoma and will use her degree to continue drowning prevention and water safety education with young people.


Stay tuned for our Project Grant award winners. The application deadline is Dec. 1st.