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Aquatic Accidents Expert Witness

Expert No. 45

Hawaii and California

Professional Overview

He has been providing expert litigation support services on aquatic accident issues to both plaintiff and defense counsel since 1986. He has testified in Federal and/or State Court as an expert in the following areas:

Water Safety / Ocean Safety
Small Craft Safety and Seamanship
Navigation Rules
Ocean Recreation Management
Warning Signs and Standards including Beach, Harbor and Buoyage Systems
Duty to Warn / Adequacy of Warnings
Aquatic Safety & Lifesaving Training
Aquatic Risk Assessment
Aquatic Accident Data Research and Evaluation
Commercial and Recreational Kayaking Standards of Care
Risk Management

Fields of Specialization

Aquatic Accident Investigations
Aquatic and Beachfront Hazard Surveys
Beach Warning Signs & Design
Commercial Tour Boat Equipment & Operations Standards
Preparation of Tour Boat Operations Manuals
Lifeguard Systems and Standards
Ocean Recreation Management Issues
Aquatic and Lifesaving Training programs
Site Inspections and Accident Reconstruction
Preliminary Discovery Review & Case Merit
Providing Expert Testimony at Deposition and Trial

His expertise is based on over 40 years of experience in aquatic recreation and safety. He has worked as a beach safety and signage consultant for both the County of Kauai and the State of Hawaii.  This work included hazard and risk management assessment, warning signs, signage placement, and signage design. He has conducted Risk Management training for the Kauai Fire Department, the Kauai Ocean Safety Bureau (County Lifeguard personnel), the US Air Force, and the US Navy.

His publications include visitor industry guidebooks  on aquatic issues, a manual on standard operation procedures  for tour boats, and a guide to risk management  for aquatic recreation businesses and industry. He researched and wrote a book on a 35-year baseline analysis of aquatic accidents and deaths on one of the most hazardous coastlines in the United States.
He is a nationally certified safety instructor, U.S. Coast Guard licensed boat captain, and a past lifeguard in Hawaii and California. He operates swimming and lifesaving instructional schools.

He has operated sailing, snorkeling, and sightseeing charters aboard vessels from 18 to 55 feet in length.  He has held his Coast Guard license since 1983, which is now rated at 100 Ton Master Near-Coastal with an Auxiliary Sail endorsement.

His background includes a career in professional lifeguarding spanning the years 1968 to
1990. He has performed as a lifeguard in Hawaii and California at a variety of diverse locations, and made rescues in extremely hazardous aquatic conditions.

Career Background
1982 to Present
Aquatic Safety Educator & Consultant   
First Aid, CPR, Lifesaving, Small Craft Safety, Principals of Risk Management
1981 to Present   
Youth Water Safety Training   
Learn to Swim, Junior Lifeguard Training   

2006 to Present
Visitor Industry Beach Safety   
Beach & Ocean Safety Orientation for Resort Staff
1984 to Present
Sailing & Snorkeling Charters   
Basic & Intermediate Sailing, Junior Sailing
American Sailing Association Approved
Job History
1994 to Present
Boat Captain, Safety Trainer, Safety Operations Design   
Sailing and Snorkeling Tours   
1981 to 2002   
Boat Captain, Safety Trainer   
Sailing and Snorkeling Tours
1983 to1985   
Safety Services Coordinator   
Planned and conducted safety training for businesses

1979 to 1989
Water Safety Officer
Lifeguard, Department of Parks and Recreation

1968 to 1975


Bachelor of Science: Business Management
San Diego, California

Training/ Certifications

1983 to Present
U.S. Coast Guard License 
Master - Near Coastal; 100-Ton Auxiliary Sail; Sail Endorsement
2005 to Present
Marine Accident Investigator   
International Association of Marine Investigators

2005 to Present
Ocean Safety Management Course   
Program Development
Ocean Safety Technician I, II, III Instructor; Instructor-Trainer
State of Hawaii

1985 to Present
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary   
Instructor: Sailing, Boating Safety & Seamanship Search & Rescue status: Coxswain
Courtesy Marine Examiner

1997 to Present
American Sailing Association Instructor   
Basic Sailing
Basic Coastal Cruising
Bareboat Chartering
Coastal Navigation

United States Lifesaving Association   
Open Water Lifeguard Instructor

1983 to Present
National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI)   
Skin Diver Instructor
Current Since 1981
American Red Cross Instructor Authorizations   
Water Safety Instructor (WSI) Standard First Aid & CPR Instructor AED Instructor

American Red Cross Instructor Trainer Authorizations
Water Safety Instructor (WSI) Lifeguard Training
Standard First Aid & CPR

Current Since 1982
American Heart Association   
Basic Life Support Instructor
First Aid Instructor

Professional Affiliations

International Association of Marine Investigators (IAMI) 2004-
Kauai Ocean Recreation Council (KORC);1986-2007
Hawaiian Lifeguard Association; Board of Directors, 1995-1998
American Boating and Yacht Council (ABYC); 2005-
Kauai Water Safety Task Force, State of Hawaii, Dept. of Health
American Red Cross Advisory Council; 1981 - 1984
American Heart Association Board of Directors; 1985 - 1986
National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) ; 1982-
United States Lifesaving Association (USLA); Professional Level
American Sailing Association (ASA) 1987-
American Canoe Association; 2004 -
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary; 1985-

Available Upon Request

Professional Presentations
Available Upon Request

Published Articles
Available Upon Request

Professional Highlights

Provides litigation support, investigation, and expert witness services to legal profession. Areas of expertise include water safety, small craft safety, and aquatic recreation.

Develops safety programs for corporations, small businesses, state and county government, non- profit organizations, and individuals. Maintains a working relationship with state and county officials including the Office of the Mayor and County Council, and  the State Board of Land & Natural Resources.

Conducts Risk Management training for a counties Fire Department and Ocean Safety
Bureau, as well as, the US Navy and US Air Force at Barking Sands.

Invited  to  address  the  statewide  water  safety  conferences  in  1993,  1994,  1995,  2007. Presentations given on issues surrounding beach safety, hazard assessment, and rating criteria for safety at public beaches.  Gave presentation at Beach Signage Workshop in Honolulu (1995).
Delegate to the Governor'ôs Conference on Health and Safety (1988)

Defined and closely monitored short and long-term goals and objectives for water safety projects on the island of Kauai.  Coordinated and chaired monthly meetings of a Water Safety Task Force, a Department of Health sponsored coalition of beach safety advocates.

Developed the first ocean lifesaving and small craft safety curriculum approved by the US Coast Guard for meeting their licensing requirement for commercial boat operators.  Licensed by the US. Coast Guard: Master/Near-coastal Auxiliary Sail Captain.

Professional lifeguard background in Hawaii and California.  Author of a book, a widely distributed reference containing information on beach activities, hazards, and lifeguard supervised parks.

Coordinated disaster relief efforts during Hurricane Iwa. Held position of Assistant District Director for the National staff of the American Red Cross. Author of a Handbook for Red Cross Staff and Volunteers.
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