Building community, positively impacting quality of life and creating inclusive paddling, swimming and surf lifesaving sports, recreation and training opportunties for those with spinal cord injuries and similar physical challenges around the world.
To create opportunities for everyone in our community to safely and positively discover their own connections to the natural waters around us as swimmers, triathletes, paddlers, surf lifesavers and ocean advocates.
Marine Patrol Ocean Conditioning and Skill Training – Program provided ongoing coaching and training for members of the Marine Patrol to raise their overall proficiency as ocean rescuers. The training programs expanded to members of Fire and Police. Based on observations and training sessions conducted there was a need to raise the open water swimming knowledge, strength and skill of officers who are not only the first responders in the event of a marine emergency but also the leaders and teachers in the corresponding youth ocean skills training program. The program created the potential for a multiple level certification program to be adopted by the Department of Public Safety based on benchmark standards from similar agencies around the world and adjusted to meet the specific needs and resources in American Samoa. When not on-island Bruckner provided remote, ongoing supervision and operational support while working directly with Department of Public Safety and partner agencies to achieve all program goals.
The Toa o le Tai (Ocean Heroes) program uses highly trained peer educators and mentors to provide free instruction to other youth in their communities in how to safely be in and around the ocean. These peer educators are a select group of older adolescents (age 17-20) who are trained in ocean safety, open water swimming and ocean conservation. Youth who complete the Toa ole Taiâ training successfully are awarded the Toa o le Tai award and are then charged with providing classes and structured open water experiences for other youth, organized through village and/or school connections.
Each component of the Toa o le Taiâ program is an evidence-based practice, such that each component has been found through empirical research to increase factors that are protective against poor social and/or health outcomes in youth. First, the benefits of being a peer educator or mentor has been found to include a greater understanding of the subject matter, in this case ocean safety and conservation, increased self-awareness and self-esteem, increased tolerance for others, increased perspective taking, and increased confidence and self-discovery. Additionally, peer education and mentorship experiences provide marketable skills (public speaking, leadership, organizing, teaching) valued in the public, non-profit, for-profit and academic spheres.
Ocean and Coastal Safety and Drowning Prevention through:
"In my 20 years in maritime search and rescue I helped lead the rescue or recovery of multiple drowning victims in remote areas. The ability to have readily available emergency instructions, rescue and safety equipment and most importantly the ability to alert others of the emergency could have saved countless lives. This product incorporates all of the equipment and procedures needed to help reduce these tragedies. One of the biggest fears for emergency personnel is the risk of secondary drowning victims. This is one of the only products I've seen address the concern, advise possible rescuers, as well as incorporate the gear needed to avoid becoming a victim.” - Senior Chief Sean Hays, USCG (ret)
From the Class Introduction to Parents and Students: Welcome to not only the first ever Ocean Swimming and Ocean Science high school class in American Samoa, but possibly in the world. The ocean in front of Samoana High School is YOUR ocean. We want you to recognize the power you have to protect the health of this aquatic world while also becoming the leaders who protect yourself, your family and your community on and around the water. To many people the ocean can be a scary place, but once you learn to look deeper into the waves and to master how to become part of the water a new world becomes yours for the rest of your life. Time in or on the water can become your escape to stay fit or relax. The oceans can also become your life’s work whether in a career as an ocean scientist, marine biologist, teacher, commercial diver, competitive swimmer, professional ocean lifeguard, Coast Guard Swimmer, fisherman or commercial mariner. At the same time we want to challenge you to take a risk to become stronger and fitter than you ever have before.