Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

In an emergency in Sydney, David O’Brien is a fire fighter people surely want to see on the front lines.

The Senior Emergency Services Officer is not only a Fire Safety Specialist, but is also a Helicopter Rescue Crewman and an Offshore Marine Rescue Crewman with 20 years of dedicated community service.

With first responder experience in fires, rescues, hazardous incidents, marine ship-to-shore emergencies, and aerial operations, O’Brien is courageous and literally a lifesaver.

That is not surprising given his 26-year athletic career where O’Brien was the first Australian athlete to represent his country internationally in 3 separate disciplines: pool swimming, surf lifesaving, and marathon swimming.

O’Brien was recently selected as an Honour Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in its Class of 2017. O’Brien joins a stellar group of swimmers, administrators, escort pilots and organisations that will be inducted and honored on April 22 in Windsor, England at the 2017 International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

Among his many achievements in domestic and international surf lifesaving events and in the pool, O’Brien also was honored by the Rottnest Channel Swim Honour Board and was awarded the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 for his contributions.

He was introduced to swimming at a young age and progressed from a successful junior pool swimming career into surf lifesaving, open water swimming and marathon swimming.

Chris Guesdon, chairman of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, describes his fellow Australian, “David O’Brien is a much heralded elite Australian marathon swimmer with a remarkable career at the top level of world racing. David was for years Australia’s top and fastest marathon swimmer. Because of his successes and leadership qualities, he was named as Captain of the gold medal winning Australian national open water swimming team at the FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships.”

O’Brien’s career had numerous highlights:

• NSW State Open 400/800/1500m freestyle pool swimming champion 1985 – 1986
• Australian Open Surf Belt National champion 1988 – SLSA Australia Wanda Beach NSW
• Australian National Surf Lifesaving Team Captain – Trans Tasman Test to New Zealand 1989
• Australian Open Water 15 km national open water swimming champion 1989
• Australian National marathon swim champion 25 km 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994
• Australian National Open Water swimming champion 10 km 1992, 1993, and 1994
• FINA World Ranking in Top 10 in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994,and 1995
• USA National 15 km champion 1991 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
• 1991 Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli champion in 6 hours 48 minutes in Italy
• 1991 FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships 25 km bronze medalist in Perth
• 1994 FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships 25 km gold medalist in Rome
• 1995 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships 25 km gold medalist in Atlanta USA
• 19.7 km Rottnest Channel Swim 4-time winner in 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995 in Western Australia

• 2011 World Police & Fire Games 9 medals won in pool and open water swimming in New York

For more information on the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the April 22nd 2017 induction ceremony, visit its website at www.imshof.org or its Facebook page here.

O’Brien is shown above both with coach Roger Bruce and fellow Rottnest Channel Swim winner Tamara Bruce.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association