August Meeting

Water Safety: how NOT to become a statistic

Meeting – when & where:
Tuesday, August 9, at 7PM
The Grill at Rolling Hills Golf Course
1415 N Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ

Arrive as early as 6PM for dinner and beverages, then mix and mingle until 7 PM, when we’ll start the meeting. Guests are always welcome!


(Photo: Peoria Fire Boat responding to a distress call at Lake Pleasant involving a sailboat swamped during a summer monsoon. Photo credit: John Keegan.)

Over the past year, Lake Pleasant has experienced a striking number of on-the-water tragedies, including deaths from drowning, hypothermia, and propeller strikes. Like all water sports, sailing is tremendous fun; but, it’s not without serious risks.

We are fortunate to welcome Peoria Fire Department’s John Keegan as our August Guest Speaker. John is not only a local first responder, but specifically trained as a Fireboat Operator and Rescue Swimmer.

Based on his extensive training and hands-on experience, John will speak about preparedness and the “dos and don’ts” of emergencies. Whether you are directly involved and need help yourself, or are a bystander to an emergency, he’ll discuss how best to help yourself and first responders in a water emergency. Quoting Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” While most boaters typically don’t have plans beyond having a great day on the water, John discusses what to do if that metaphorical punch happens.

Guest Speaker John Keegan:

John has 20 years of experience in emergency services, including 15-years as a Firefighter-Paramedic with the Peoria Fire Department. He became a professional Fireboat Operator in 2012, and completed Rescue Swimmer school in 2015. He is a Senior Instructor in rescue swimming, professional boat piloting, and off-road rescues. After consulting fire departments and maritime rescue teams across the country, John co-authored the tactics for marina firefighting and water rescues.

John teaches courses in paramedicine, first responder cardiac training, field trauma management, and emergency response techniques for Rescue Swimmers and Fireboat Operators. His first-hand experiences include many emergency responses to boat collisions, boat fires, boating traumas, and water rescues as a Response Boat Operator and Rescue Swimmer.

Future Meetings:

  • September: Ullman Sails will present tips, tricks, and great information for better sailing.
  • October (tentative): Sail GP will hopefully send two of their sailors to talk about the Sail GP program and the incredible world of foiling sailboats.
  • November: US Sailing President, Rich Jepsen
  • December: Holiday Party
  • January: Dawn Riley, 2022  inductee to the America’s Cup Hall of Fame