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A new year brings a new award for one of the Park Board’s own. Earlier this month, Galveston Island Beach Patrol Chief Peter Davis was selected to receive the 2019 Paragon Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF).
The award recognizes Davis’ outstanding service and contributions toward advancing the aquatic discipline of water safety. In May, he will attend an awards ceremony in Florida to receive the award in person.
Davis, who has worked with the Galveston Park Board for more than 35 years, is no stranger to awards and honors. In 2017, he became a Knight in the Order of Lifesaving by the International Life Saving Federation, and he currently serves as president of the United States Lifesaving Association.
“Being awarded the International Paragon Award is a huge honor, especially when I look at the previous recipients,” Davis said. “But without the base provided here in Galveston, none of our shared national or international accomplishments would have been possible. Lifesaving is not a solo effort, and I feel really grateful for the teams I’m part of including the Beach Patrol, Park Board, city, Galveston Marine Response, Survivor Support Network and all of our other partners. I’m continually humbled and inspired by all the people in and adjacent to lifesaving, who selflessly contribute to the shared goal of a world free of drowning death.”
Davis will join hundreds of ISHOF honorees from around the world, including former Olympian Mark Spitz and Lynne Cox, who swam across the Bering Strait in 1987.
“I can say that I am thrilled, but not surprised that Peter has been recognized with this high honor,” Park Board Executive Director Kelly de Schaun said. “His dedication to beach safety and his personal commitment to saving lives in Galveston truly set him apart.”
ISHOF is a nonprofit organization, which was established in 1965. Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, its goal is to preserve the history of swimming, celebrate the heroes, promote the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of all children and adults, and connect older generations of swimmers to youth.