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Stathis Avramidis

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Tai Collins, Dr. Stathis Avramidis, and Greg Bonann
International Aquatic History Symposium & Film Festival poster
Dr. Stathis Avramidis honored with the ISHOF Service Award 2012 by Bob Duenkel and Bruce Wigo
Dr. Stathis Avramidis, with other award winners, is presented with the "Best Young Film Director" by ISHOF's CEO Bruce Wigo
Stathis Avramidis becoming "Mr Greece 2000" at the Mr & Miss Model Millennium Beauty Contest
Dr. Stathis, IAHSFF Co-Chairman.

Stathis Avramidis, Ph.D. (Δρ Στάθης Αβραμίδης) is a prolific author and advocate in the field of water safety. He has served and popularized aquatics and water safety since 1988 as athlete, academic, water safety and media professional. He is an officer in the Greece National Public Health Organisation and Teaching Staff of Applied Lifeguarding-Lifesaving Sport, University of Athens.

Greek Lifesaving Sport Union[edit]

He will establish the Greek Lifesaving Sport Union in Greece in January 2020. The aim of the not-for-profit organization is to promote water safety and lifesaving sport. Anyone can become a member without registration fees. There are 3 types of member: Associate (for organizations), Basic (for individuals) and Honorary (for distinguished individuals who have contributed to the fields of applied lifeguarding, lifesaving sport, and aquatics.

I admire your work tremendously. My organization will be established in the beginning of January. I am sending this preliminary invitation to ask if you would accept the title of Honorary Member. It will require no commitments from you in time or tasks. If you accept, when it will be established, I will send you a nice certificate as evidence of your membership and your name will appear in our webpage.


He holds a Diploma of Education on "Adapted Physical Education" (with a mark of 10 "excellent") and a Bachelor of Science in "Sport Science and Physical Education" (graduating with the highest mark 8.39/10 among 105 graduates) from the University of Athens (Greece 1999). He also completed a Master in Sport/Exercice Science and a PhD on lifesaving and drowning respectively at Leeds Metropolitan University (England 2001; 2009), and a Master on Public Health at the National School of Public Health (Athens, Greece 2016).

Professional Activity[edit]

He is an Associate dealing with water safety (Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) and Federal Director of Sport Lifesaving (Hellenic Federation of Underwater Activity and Sport Fishing) in Greece. Also, worked as Advisor of Accident Prevention and Health Education at the Secretary General of Public Health, at the Hellenic Ministry of Health. In the past, he was a Lecturer of Aquatics/Visiting Research Fellow (Leeds Metropolitan University, UK 2003-2012). He was also the Co-Chairman of the International Aquatic History Symposium & Film Festival.

He is a qualified Senior Tutor/Instructor of internationally recognized organizations (ILSF, STA, Singapore STA, RLSS Australia, RLSS UK, SLSA GB, CLSF, ASA, NUCO) with lifesaving experience and education from 13 countries. He trains physical education, lifesaving, lifeguarding, fire awareness, baby swimming, water safety, spinal injury management, defibrillation, first aid, and survival at sea. He worked as lifeguard, instructor, coach, and first aider in aquatic events (nationals, European, Mediterranean, World and Olympics).

He appeared in television and radio many times, as invited guest speaker on water safety issues, extra actor/model in television series/shows and interviews. He presented the radio program "Lifeguarding without a teacher" (91.2FM Radio, Athens 2003) and the television program "Prevention and Rescue" (Aroma Elladas Magazino, Athens 2013). Stathis is Honorary Member of the International Drowning Prevention Alliance.

Research Interests[edit]

Dr Avramidis research focuses on aspects of drowning, accident prevention, safety promotion, aquatic safety teaching, legislation, lifeguarding, lifesaving, water safety, pedagogy and near-death experiences. He focuses in multi-disciplinary approaches of drowning and accident prevention to enhance education.

Awards and Honors[edit]

Dr Avramidis has been honored with several awards and distinctions dozens times in 9 countries for his work. Particularly,he was the recipient of the prestigious Paragon Aquatic Safety Award and the "ISHOF Service Award" from the International Swimming Hall of Fame "for his outstanding work on water safety and lifeguarding worldwide and the mission of ISHOF". In addition, he was presented with 3 RLSS Commonwealth Diploma Awards, whose Patron is Queen Elizabeth II. At the International Aquatic History Symposium & Film Festival he was awarded with the "Most Prolific Contributor Award 2012" and "Best Young Film Director Award 2012". His Film "Ode to (Lifesaving) Joy" was honored with the "Special Diploma for Masterful Storytelling of Red Cross Events at the 17th International Red Cross and Health Film Festival (Varna, Bulgaria October 2015).

In his youth, he participated in 4 national and international beauty contests. He became "Mahnunt Greece 2000" (aka Mr Greece in the Mr Model Millennium Contest), "Best Model Tourism 2000" (Best Model of the World, Turkey), "First Runner-Up Mr Elegance 2001" (Mr Intercontinental, Germany), "Community Services 2000" (Manhunt International, Singapore). In addition to them, he was placed 5 times in the top 3 rankings of the national championship as a water polo player with the team of Olympiakos.

Documentary STATHI[edit]

A documentary called "STATHI" depicts the life and work of Dr. Avramidis. The story deals about a poor young man, who had skeletal problems and could not speak English, who was collecting food from bin bags separating it from the cigarette aces and whose mother did a starvation strike out of the Ministry of Education fighting for his rights to study in Higher Education. Despite several obstacles, he became national water polo champion, an award-winning male model in beauty contests, one of the most prolific aquatic safety authors and winner of various awards. This story has not only touched and inspired the viewers of different nations but also gives hope and courage to those who dream to achieve goals beyond their financial and language abilities.


He has authored over 300 publications including books, chapters, peer reviewed journal articles, DVDs, conference proceedings and articles in popular technical aquatic magazines/newspapers (see list here. Dr. Avramidis has published several books.

He authored the fairy tale book "A Chance For Children" based partially on the life and work of Greg Bonann (creator/director/producer of Baywatch and SAF3) and Tai Collins (screenwriter of SAF3). This fairy tale book, aims to be a humn to human empowerment and to pay a tribute to the inspirational work of Greg and Tai who founded the real "A Chance For Children" Foundation. Also, he has co-authored with Prof. Janice M. Holden the in-press book "Near-Death Experiences while Drowning. Dying is not the End of Consciousness" that was published in September 2015 by Eagle Editions at the University of North Texas.

Anong his most recent publication is a children's book called A Chance for Children the Near-Death Experiences While Drowning: Dying Is Not the End of Consciousness! that he c-authored with Professor J. M. Holden Ed.D., and the "Lifesaving Sport", a book with 46 co-authors from 12 countries.

Conference Organizer[edit]

In 2012, Stathi was the Co-Chairman of the International Aquatic History Symposium & Film Festival that was held at the [International Swimming Hall of Fame] on 9-12 May 2012 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A. The Symposium & Film Festival included keynote speeches, film showings, book signings, museum tours, exhibitions, oral and poster presentations and prizes for best contributions and brough together a number of personalities from around the world who created films or books that documented history of aquatic sports. Co-Chairman Dr. Avramidis said, "We live in water and we are made by water; 75% of our planet is covered by and 95% of our body is constituted by water. This explains why the history of aquatics is a so intriguing theme for a symposium and a film festival. Let’s meet in the Mecca of Aquatics to witness the extraordinary achievements that we have made from antiquity until today."

In 2017, Stathi was the Co-Chairman of the "Conference on Near-Death Experiences while Drowning" at the International Swimming Hall of Fame with ISHOF's President/CEO, Bruce Wigo.

Quotes During Memorable Moments[edit]

Dr Avramidis is known for his humorous and philosophical quotes:

  • 1. "I always tried to have my wordrobe and fridge semi-full and my library full" (Intervieweed about his "Mr Greece 2000" title in the TV program "Aroma Elladas" 2000).
  • 2. "When we meet, our Creator will ask us what we did in our lives for love and learning" (in his book 'A Chance For Children' 2013).
  • 3. "I got an office at the Hall of Fame where there was a label that said 'everyone brings joy to this office; some when they come and some when they leave'. Thank you for honoring me tonight for my work and because I am Greek"(awarding ceremony at the International Swimming Hall of Fame, USA 2012).

2009 Paragon Aquatic Safety Award Winner[edit]

Greatest Watermen in Open Water Swimming History[edit]

He was named as one of the Greatest Watermen in Open Water Swimming History by the World Open Water Swimming Association in 2015:

1. Zacharias Alexandrakis (Macedonia): Marathon swimming enthusiast, open water swimming promoter, lifeguard, swimming coach and lifesaving leader.
2. Antonio Argüelles Díaz-González (Mexico): Triathlete, ultra-endurance athlete, channel swimmer and author
3. Stathis Avramidis, Ph.D. (Greece): Researcher, swimmer, author, speaker, and lecturer
4. Peter Bales (South Africa): Channel swimmer, marathon swimmer, governing body administrator and escort pilot
5. Vito Bialla (U.S.A.): Extreme relay swimmer, professional sailor, and escort pilot of the Farallon Islands, California
6. Paul Blackbeard (South Africa): World-class pool swimmer, ocean swimmer, and life saver
7. Lord Byron (Great Britain): Poet, author and pioneering sea swimmer
8. Dick Campion (Australia): Olympian, coach, trainer, author, promoter, and professional marathon swimmer
9. Daniel Eulogio Carpio Massioti (Peru): Four-time Olympian, Channel swimmer, professional racer, and solo swimmer
10. Bruckner Chase (U.S.A.): marathon swimmer, ocean advocate, ambassador to the disabled, filmmaker, paddler and surf lifesaver
11. Buster Crabbe (U.S.A.): Olympic champion, ice swimmer, promoter, and movie star of 3 pulp fiction heroes
12. Guy Delage (France): Ocean swimmer, extreme adventurer, diver, submariner, and sailor
13. Marcos Díaz (Dominican Republic): Marathon racer, extreme swimmer, surfer, governing body administrator, and event director
14. Shannon Eckstein (Australia): Ironman lifesaver, paddler, kayaker, surf skier and ocean swimmer
15. Ian Emberson (Kauai, U.S.A.): Channel swimmer, original Ironman triathlete, ocean swimmer, event director, and triathlete
16. George Freeth (Hawai, U.S.A.): Ocean swimmer, surfer, paddler, and lifesaver organizer
17. Alfréd Hajós (Hungary): Olympic champion, professional racer, and architect
18. Trevor Hendy (Australia): Ironman lifesaver, paddler, kayaker, surf skier and ocean swimmer
19. Colin Hill (Great Britain): Ice swimmer, Channel swimmer, television commentator, and event director
20. Craig Hummer (U.S.A.): Competitive swimmer, kayaker, paddler, Ironman lifesaver, and Olympic television commentator
21. Ky Hurst (Australia): Ocean swimmer, two-time Olympian, body surfer extraordinaire, and champion life saver
22. Zhang Jian (China): Marathon swimmer, Channel swimmer, ice swimmer and university sports director
23. Captain Tim Johnson (U.S.A.): Marathon swimmer, author, professor, shark cage designer, analyst, and historian
24. Duke Kahanamoku (Hawaii): Ocean swimmer, Olympic champion, surfing legend and ambassador of aloha
25. Grant Kenny (Australia): Ironman lifesaver, paddler, kayaker, surf skier and ocean swimmer
26. Guy Leech (Australia): Ironman lifesaver, paddler, kayaker, surf skier and ocean swimmer
27. Luiz Eduardo Carneiro da Silva de Souza Lima (Brazil): Two-time Olympian, stand-up paddler, ocean swimming coach, pioneering ocean swimmer and promoter
28. Pádraig Mallon (Ireland): Marathon swimmer, Channel swimmer, ice swimmer, event organizer, promoter and triathlete
29. Vojislav Mijić (Serbia): Marathon swimmer, professional racer, solo pioneer and event organizer
30. Masayuki Moriya (Japan): Coach, channel swimmer, event organizer, clinician, and governing body administrator
31. Keo Nakama (Hawaii/U.S.A.): World champion, world record holder, pioneering ocean swimmer, event organizer and coach
32. Aaron Peirsol (U.S.A.): 7-time Olympic medalist, surfer, lifeguard, coach, and body surfer extraordinaire
33. Lewis Pugh (Great Britain): Channel swimmer, marathon swimmer, ocean advocate, ambassador, author, and speaker
34. Kevin Richards (South Africa): Competitive swimmer, triathlete, surf lifesaver, and coach
35. Philip Rush (New Zealand): Channel swimmer, marathon swimmer, professional racer, escort pilot, channel administrator, and fire fighter
36. Wayne Riddin (South Africa): Competitive swimmer, race director, aquapreneur, coach and promoter
37. Veljko Rogošić (Croatia): Two-time Olympic swimmer, professional racer, solo pioneer, swimming ambassador and marathon swimmer
38. Kenny Rust (Hawaii, U.S.A.): Ocean swimmer, lifeguard, aquapreneur, and event safety official
39. Ori Sela (Israel): Sea swimmer, coach, therapist, pioneer relay swimmer and aquapreneur
40. Borut Strel (Slovenia): Coach, swimmer, clinician, planner and logistic expert
41. Martin Strel (Slovenia): Channel swimmer, marathon swimmer, extreme adventurer, film protagonist, and camp clinician
42. Georgios-Ioannis Tsianos, M.D., Ph.D. (Greece): Research scientist, physician, expedition medic and Channel swimmer
43. Christof Wandratsch (Germany): Channel swimmer, professional racer, solo pioneer, ice swimming record holder and event promoter
44. Captain Matthew Webb (Great Britain): Channel swimmer, extreme adventurer, and professional racer
45. Johnny Weissmuller (U.S.A.): 4-time Olympic champion and movie star with a household name
46. Alick Wickham (Solomon Islands): Ocean swimmer, high diver, body surfing promoter, surfboard shaper, and freestyle ambassador
47. Patrick Winkler (Brazil): Competitive swimmer, ocean swimmer, stand-up paddler, race promoter and publisher of The Swim Channel Magazine
48. Jabez Wolffe (Great Britain): Channel aspirant and coach in the early generations of channel swimming
49. Doug Woodring (Hong Kong/U.S.A.): Marine environment ambassador, ecology advocate, aquapreneur, ocean event director, paddler, diver, and ocean swimmer
50. David Yudovin (U.S.A.): Channel swimmer, marathon swimmer, aquapreneur, benefactor and mariner

Charlie the savior[edit]

Charlie the savior is international water safety program inspired by Charlie Hayes and the true events and characters of Baywatch and endorsed by the legendary director Greg Bonann and 7 international organizations.

External links[edit]