Lifesaving FoundationSurf wave


The Ireland Medal Presentation

Dooley's Hotel, Waterford on Monday, 24th February.

Professor Michael Tipton MBE - 2019 Ireland Medal Recipient
Professor Michael Tipton MBE has had a long involvement in saving lives from drowning worldwide. In addition to his survival research Mike is a Trustee and Director of Surf Lifesaving GB (SLSGB) and recently completed 10 years on the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI) Medical & Survival Committee and is a member of the Council of RNLI. He provides technical input on the physiological responses associated with immersion-related deaths and the prevention, rescue, and treatment of immersion casualties. In recognition of his contribution to SLSGB, he was awarded life membership earlier this year. He was made Honorary Life Member of the International Association for Safety & Survival Training in 2004. Mike is also a member of the medical committee of the Society for Anhidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia; a member of the Maritime Coastguard Agency’s Immersion Casualty Review panel; and a co-founder of the International Drowning Researcher’s Alliance. Mike’s maternal ancestor Timothy Cavanagh emigrated from Ireland to Bristol, England. He is married to Carole, they have two grown up children, Sam and Jenny.

Professional Career
He is Associate Head (Research), Department of Sport & Exercise Science, at The University of Portsmouth. He was based at the Institute of Naval Medicine (INM) from 1983 to 2004 and was Consultant Head of the Environmental Medicine Division from 1996. He has spent 35 years working in the areas of thermoregulation, environmental and occupational physiology. He and his colleagues in the Extreme Environments Laboratory examine the physiological and psychological responses to adverse environments and the selection, preparation and protection of those who enter such environments. He provides advice to a range of universities, government departments, industries, medical, search and rescue and media organisations. He has published over 600 scientific papers, reports, chapters in these areas as well as the books, “The Essentials of Sea Survival” (Golden & Tipton, 2002) and “The Science of Beach Lifeguarding” (Tipton & Wooler, 2016). He has been a consultant in survival and thermal medicine to the Royal Air Force and UKSport, chaired UKSport’s Research Advisory Group and sits on the English Institute of Sports’ Research & Ethics Advisory Board. He was Senior Editor of the journal “Extreme Physiology and Medicine” until 2016 and is currently Editor-in-Chief of The Physiological Society’s journal “Experimental Physiology”. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Medicine and The Physiological Society. He was awarded an MBE in 2018 for his services to physiological research in extreme environments.

The Foundation's Biennial Conference - September

The Foundation’s 2020 Conference will take place in Dooleys Hotel, Waterford City, Ireland, from Monday 21st September to Thursday 24th September with presentations on the Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd.

The conference outline programme is as follows;

  • Monday 21st September: Tour of County Waterford Search and Rescue bases.
  • Tuesday 22nd September: Presentations and Discussion Sessions
  • Wednesday 23rd September: Presentations and Discussion Sessions
  • Thursday 24th September: Tour of Waterford City
  • The Tuesday and Wednesday will be the main presentation days but the Monday programme is intended as our bringing the conference to the Search and Rescue bases where one or more members will present on their activities. This includes helicopter SAR, Cliff Rescue, Cliff and Coastal searches, suicide prevention foot patrols and lifeboats. The Thursday programme is mainly a visit to tourism sites but will include some small lifesaving activity in case someone needs it for permission purposes. We will have a partners programme.

    Presentations are invited on the following five themes: Suicide by Drowning; Survival of Swimmers; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; Foreign Holiday Water Safety.

    Presentations on new drowning prevention research will be considered.