PNW Ocean Safety Summit 



This personalized training course, open safety summit, and agency summit are being offered by Eric Akiskalian and Ollie Richardson, along with their highly experienced & certified water safety and PWC operators. We always have a professional ocean safety crew, Matt LeDoux as part of our staff, EMT certified and firefighter first responder on hand.

This course is designed specifically for individuals, small groups, and Local, Federal & Government Rescue Agencies to improve their range of PWC driving techniques and rescue skills. We will focus on operating a ski in the beach break while performing a variety of rescue techniques using protocols and established emergency procedures (EEP’s).

Our PNW Ocean Safety Summit course is for individuals who have a basic understanding of their physical range by knowing their abilities and limitations in ocean conditions. We are going to push your comfort zone while testing your ability to make split-second decisions in rescue situations. Our goal is for everyone to become highly trained risk technicians that can observe constantly changing conditions to make the best possible decision for themselves and those around them.

Eric and Ollie, along with our crew, will instruct each of you throughout the course on a one-on-one basis. We will give you all the opportunity to train in safe, yet challenging conditions.

The Private Group Training Course Will Help You Develop the Following Skills:

1. Teamwork and hand single communication

2. PWC beach/ramp launching and extraction using a sand dolly

3. PWC driving and rescue techniques

4. Quick, yet precise pickups using the rescue sled and rescue ring

5. Individual driving, and rescues in the surf zone

6. Time-saving, decision-making, risk assessment, and risk management in a fluid situation

7. Identifying local resources and protocols for acting upon rescues or assisting in any emergency situation

8. Introduction to the local area, geo layout, danger zones, launching areas, and lookout points

9. Proper equipment list, proper care, and rinsing of PWC

10. On-hand safety items

11. Transporting unconscious person(s)  in the water to the beach or ramp

12. Towing and swimming in a dead ski to a safe location

13. Confronting and dealing with a capsized ski

The intention of this course is to create safety in a dynamic environment. We are creating our own safety mechanism, as well as creating one for others with the overall objective of teaching trainees the basic fundamentals, equipment needs, and safety. By using our knowledge, experience, resources, and technologies we can reduce, minimize or prevent potential risk factors.

This is a certification of completion course, and it’s an opportunity to train with industry-leading, knowledgeable, and experienced waterman from the PNW with a combined 75 years of experience with staff included.

We will also cover aspects of the ever-changing ocean conditions, tides, rip currents, swell forecasting, and ocean awareness.

Youtube Summit and Big Wave Promo Clips:

A: A PWC ocean safety summit is a meeting or conference focused on discussing safety issues related to the use of personal watercraft (PWC), such as jet skis, in the ocean. The purpose of such a summit would be to bring together experts and stakeholders to discuss and develop strategies for improving safety and reducing the risk of accidents and injuries related to the use of PWC in the ocean. This might include discussions on topics such as safe operating practices, the use of safety equipment, and ways to educate PWC users on the importance of following safety guidelines. The goal of the summit would be to find ways to make the ocean a safer place for PWC users, while also protecting the marine environment and other ocean users.

This 3-day PNW Ocean Safety Summit is for anyone who is interested in learning how to become an asset in the water as a surfer, photographer, and/or PWC operator. If you want to come to Lincoln City, OR to paddle or tow surf the reefs on the big days or shoot photos from a PWC, you will want to be part of this summit to learn everything you need to know before you go! Preparation, knowledge, and skill set will help you to become your best and more confident as an athlete, channel photographer, PWC rescue operator, and potentially, as a first responder to an incident in the lineup.

Photo: Richard Hallman

Q: How do you train to become a PWC risk technician ocean rescue & safety operator?

A: To become a PWC (personal watercraft) risk technician rescue and safety ocean operator, you will need to undergo specialized training. This may include training in rescue techniques, emergency response, and the use of personal watercraft in rescue situations. You may also need to complete courses in first aid and CPR.

Photo: Richard Hallman

Firefighter – EMT Presenter & Safety, Matt LeDoux

Q: What is the purpose of proper training for a tow-in surfer?

A: The purpose of tow-in surfing is to provide surfers with the ability to catch larger and more powerful waves that they would not be able to catch on their own. This can be especially useful for training and practicing advanced surfing techniques. In tow-in surfing, a surfboard is attached to a rope or harness that is connected to a boat or jet ski, which then pulls the surfer into the wave. This allows the surfer to gain speed and ride the wave more easily, allowing them to practice and improve their surfing skills.

Photo: Richard Hallman

Q: What type of training do you need to be a tow-in surfer?

A: To become a tow-in surfer, you would need to learn how to surf and have experience surfing in large waves. You would also need to be in good physical shape and know how to swim well. In addition, it would be helpful to have training in rescue techniques and first aid, as well as experience with the equipment and techniques used in tow-in surfing. It is also important to be aware of and follow local regulations and safety guidelines for tow-in surfing.

Photo: Richard Hallman

Q: What will this course supply?

A: 1. All PWCs and safety equipment will be provided by the summit coordinators. It is our goal that each individual involved will get ample hands-on experience to practice, train, and learn from some of the best and most experienced ocean safety specialists and PWC operators in the world.

Photo: Richard Hallman

Q: When is the next scheduled PNW Ocean Safety Summit?

A: Spring 2023 Dates (TBA) announced in January / This will be a 3-day summit held on a Friday-Sunday

Q: Who will the instructors and trainers be?

A:  Matt LeDoux, Eric Akiskalian and Ollie Richardson, Oregon

Q: PNW Ocean Safety Summit be?

A: Lincoln City, OR

Q: Who is the Safety Summit for?

A: All water enthusiasts and rescue agencies

Depoe Bay, OR U.S.C.G. / Photo: Richard Hallman


There will be limited availability for registration and spots are given on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Registration Fee: $(TBA) payment via Venmo or CashApp will be accepted. Please email; [email protected] or text/call Eric at 805-443-2045 for more info, registration, and payment.

It will be cold so bring the appropriate gear and get ready for some good ole fashion dose of the wild, wild west of the PNW.

If you have two wetsuits, we strongly advise bringing them both. Hoodies, booties, and gloves are a must. If you have impact suits, and inflatable vests bring those as well and prepare to get dropped off in the impact zone for some real PNW training.

Presenters and Instructors from L-R / Chuck Patterson, Eric Akiskalian, and Ollie Richardson / Photo: Richard Hallman

“Eric Akiskalian ‘AKA’ TOWSURFER, what a solid guy, always ready, always organized and forever CHARGING forward!!! I have known Eric of for over 20 years and I have traveled to many global big-wave destinations with him as well. Over the years, he has demonstrated his dedication, expertise, time, and passion for promoting our sport and keeping surfers safe by assisting in water safety and rescue. As of recent, I have personally had him work with me in Nazare, Portugal, and Mavericks, CA for water safety, assistance, and rescue for our crew. I trust his abilities and level of experience with my life in any situation that he is willing to put himself in. He’s very calculated and confident, but he also knows that mistakes and bad situations will happen to the best. He’s mentally and physically prepared for the worst-case scenarios. He’s a great friend with a big heart and very easy to work with. Let’s Go!!!” Garrett McNamara / Current Guinness World Record Holder for Biggest Wave Surfed Nazare, Portugal / HI-USA

“I’ve known Eric Akiskalian for over a decade now and his dedication to Tow Surfing and PWC Water Safety is 2nd to none. I have used Eric and his services on many occasions chasing swells around the world. I trust him to come and get me when my life is on the line. I know he is constantly keeping his skills fine-tuned and doing all the updated courses so he is on his game. Thank you, Eric, for keeping me safe over the years, and looking forward to many more sessions to come. – Jamie Mitchell / Professional Big Wave Surfer / AUS

“The more you can learn from trained professionals, the safer our oceans will be. It was great to have Eric Akiskalian in our training program and share his expertise and knowledge” Archie Kalepa  /Ocean and Safety Water Patrol / County of Maui, HI

“This course really opened my eyes to how important safety is and how much training is needed. What I learned with Eric Akiskalian in two days would have otherwise taken me an entire season to figure out. Having just bought a new PWC, I learned how to properly outfit and drive my ski and now I can enjoy my water time and feel somewhat knowledgeable”.Sean Jenson / Owner Eletic Surfboards / Huntington Beach, CA

“ I was stoked to find Eric Akiskalian online and learn that he offered a private tow-in training course. I hired him for private PWC training, ocean safety and tow-ins for about 4 days. I wanted to learn as much as I could and absorb all the information he had to offer. His level of experience and knowledge was apparent and by the end of the course, I felt much more competent with my driving and pickups in the beach break.  I am not a big wave tow surfer but love to tow solid south swells in my area. This was the perfect training course for me as a beginner wanting to advance my skills and experience. I would highly recommend Eric, if you are looking for this type of training course.” – Matt Hill / Oxnard, CA

“I met Eric Akiskalian soon after I became interested in shooting big wave surfing nearly 10 years ago.  As a regular fixture in the water at Nelscott Reef, Eric tackles some of the biggest conditions the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Getting out to Nelscott Reef is a challenging affair and takes focus, skill, and knowledge.  Eric is one of the few people I trust to get me and my equipment out in The Zone quickly and safely.  In 2010, I was lucky enough to be able to capture his Biggest Wave of the Year nomination for the XXL Big Wave Awards.  In addition to Nelscott, I have been fortunate to have him drive me at some of the best big wave spots including Mavericks and Teahupo’o. It takes a team to take on big waves as well as document them. It is nice to know Eric is out there and on your team, especially when the swell and conditions are unpredictable.” – Richard Hallman / Freelance Imaging / Bend, OR

When I come to Oregon or California, it’s always good to know that Eric Akiskalian is available helping to coordinate safety and logistics for the swells. Eric is a dedicated water man that has the global experience, passion, and dedication needed for success in big surf. He’s a good guy, with a great attitude and worth having in your corner on those special days of waves.” – Trevor Sven Carlson / Professional Big Wave Surfer / Oahu, HI

“When I first started tow surfing Eric Akiskalian was a great mentor and always came prepared with everything needed for a fun, safe tow session. He stays updated on all new current safety protocols and equipment so that everyone comes back to the beach safely. Eric uses his enthusiasm and passion for promoting the sport in a positive way, which makes him an ambassador for big wave surfing. Eric is the only person I know that is more stoked than I am and he always brings a smile and positive attitude to every session.” – Ollie Richard / Newport, OR

Industry Letters of Support and Recommendations:

Adam Wagner

Scott Eggers

Rodney Kilborne

Glen Gremillion

PJ Lungren


Watch Clip

PNW Ocean Safety Summit November 12-13, 2022


For more information, rates, and scheduling, contact:

Eric Akiskalian, Owner/Director

Email: [email protected]

Cell: (805) 443-2045




2023 All rights reserved,