Image

f anyone can talk about aquatic risk for hours on end, it's Tom Ebro. With his deep James Earl Jones voice, 65-year-old Ebro can talk about all his first-hand experiences dealing with aquatic litigation, water-related injury and risk management for an hour without stopping. He can even speak about it in three languages: English, German and Estonian.

But if he goes on a bit, that's only because he is so deeply involved in his work. His Lutz, Fla.-based company, Aquatic Risk Management, has dealt with more than 1,300 plaintiff and defense aquatics cases. And he holds more than 40 years of aquatics experience.

It took Ebro 27 years of hands-on experience in the field at hotel resorts and city governments to put together his practice. He doesn't just study aquatic accidents; he physically takes a video camera to a park and tapes riders going down slides for hours for hazard foreseeability. He measures slip-resistance of wet walking surfaces and tests aquatic products for performance, defects and misuse.

But his efforts reach far beyond litigation and risk management. Ebro was head of Los Angeles County's underwater programs, which certified at least 1,000 scuba participants monthly and offers specialized underwater training to police, coroners, firefighters, NASA scientists, lifeguards and disabled Americans. He also initiated various public ecology programs in Southern California.

Ebro's municipal experience includes serving as head lifeguard and aquatics director for the Multnomah County Parks & Memorials Department in Oregon. He also worked with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks & Recreation as a senior aquatic specialist for 10 years. His work took him to paradise, too: He helped develop and run two resort hotels in the Bahamas and in the Cayman Islands, specializing in aquatic development and scuba operations.

Now that's something to talk about.— Rin-rin Yu