On April 19, 2008 Walter and Julie Richardson received a call telling them their two oldest sons had been involved in a freedive accident and were in trouble. Both boys had succumbed to shallow water blackout on the ascent following a 90 ft freedive. David, 16, blacked out 30 ft below the surface. Robert, 20, returned to rescue his brother without time to get another breath, and blacked out in the effort.
The motionless pair floating face down in the water caught the attention of their three young buddies who launched a rescue. After successfully reviving the brothers, they contacted the Coast Guard and the pair was airlifted to hospital where they later made a full recovery.
Nearly losing two sons together to freediver blackout compelled Julie to become a voice for change in freedive safety. She talked to the top experts in the industry, many of whom shared her concern and pledged their support in her effort to promote freedive safety education.