Drownings have played too big a role in the life of Detective Senior Constable Paul Reynolds.
In 2008, his best friend from school drowned in a kayaking accident in Canada. In October 2012, he found himself caught up in the rescue of a 13-year-old at Yerrabi Pond in Gungahlin. And in 2015, he was charged with investigating a toddler's swimming pool death for the ACT coroner.
So many times had drowning tragedies touched his life, that his wife Loryn encouraged him to act.
"I remember sitting down with my wife one day and ... she said, 'I think someone's trying to tell you something here'. And I really got stuck into it."
Senior Detective Reynolds has been awarded a Churchill Fellowship to speak to the Life Saving Federation in Belgium, which is responsible for many reports into drowning, and will also travel to Demark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Switzerland to see how they have reduced drowning rates. He will also go to New Zealand and learn more about their laws on fencing swimming pools.
The senior detective still remembers the day he was patrolling in Gungahlin when he noticed something happening at Yerrabi Pond. Three young girls were swept away by stormwater.
Off-duty firefighter Neil Maher pulled one of the girls, Zartash Sarwar, from the water with no signs of life. He started resuscitating the young girl when Senior Detective Reynolds arrived and took over.
After 10 minutes, Zartash vomited and took some breaths.
In December 2015, toddler River Parry drowned in a swimming pool at his grandparents' home in a tragic accident.
Senior Detective Reynolds ran the investigation on behalf of the coroner.
"I remember quite clearly, we were at work and it was the last day of our block of shifts, we weren't far from knocking off and the job came in and I remember the acting senior at the time got the phone call," he said.
"You know his face just dropped and it's one of those jobs that no one really wants to do because it's quite confronting."
As he investigated the drowning, his drive to 'do something about it' grew.
"The more I looked into it and the more things I dug up, it really resonated with me," he said.
"It really became a personal quest to dig into the drowning."
The father of three little girls said both incidents linger in the back of his mind, prompting him to make sure his children knew how to swim.
"All the girls started swimming since before they could crawl and that's something that's probably come out of the events."
He said globally 370, 000 a year lose their lives to drowning. That's 40 people every hour of every day.
Senior Detective Reynolds is one of 109 Australians who will travel throughout the world in 2018 in search of new ideas, innovation and excellence as recipients of a Churchill Fellowship.
Churchill Trust chief executive Adam Davey said the recipients from a pool of 1140 applicants are being awarded fellowships worth more than $2.8 million.
Senior Detective Reynolds is one of eight ACT recipients of fellowships.
"I'm going to go overseas, hopefully find some things that people have done that we can bring back and put into practice here and hopefully reduce some of these incidences of drowning, particularly in vulnerable people, such as infants," he said.
"It's such a preventable cause of death, and I think with a few small measures we can put into place we can really bring that drowning rate down."