Paralympic warns swimmers
December 24, 2004 - 3:19PM

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Bryce Alman is immensely proud of his Paralympics silver medal, but he'd give it away in an instant to be able to walk again.

The elite wheelchair athlete, who broke his neck diving into shallow water, launched a water safety awareness campaign in Melbourne on Friday.

Mr Alman, who won a silver medal in wheelchair rugby at the Sydney Paralympics and competed at Athens, became a quadriplegic after diving into a sandbar while swimming with mates at Phillip Island eight years ago.

Now the 28-year-old is appearing on a poster to be displayed in swimming centres across the state to promote the "Save Your Neck This Summer" campaign.

It urges swimmers never to dive into shallow water, to think before taking the plunge, enter the water feet first and watch for changing tides at the beach.

It also recommends not to swim alone or drink alcohol during water activities.

Mr Alman said he would not have broken his neck had he gone into the water feet first.