Jo Talbot, Royal Lifesaving Society, UK

I am very interested in drowning research. I work as the Commercial Director for Royal Lifesaving Society UK, I oversea the development of over 16 qualifications, teaching individuals to recognise and rescue those affected by drowning. From school children, to professionals working around water, individuals walking along water ways when intoxicated and many more. We have 4 professional lifeguard qualifications that are awarded to over 75,000 individuals every year.

In order to give our candidates a better understanding of how to recognise someone is in difficulty in water, I completed a very simple study in 2019 using footage from drownings in swimming pools (captured on underwater cameras). The results were presented at the WCDP2019 in Durban and we recreated 5 fatalities to provide videos which now aids learning, these videos have been shared worldwide within the drowning prevention community.

I am currently working on a project, in collaboration with the Royal National Lifeboat Institute, the University of Chichester, Jenny Smith and Kings College London. We are assessing the psychological differences between lifeguards of varying experience with the aim to gain a deeper understanding into what makes a lifeguard tick and use this information to ultimately improve the performance of lifeguards further.

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