Charity Governance

Charity Founder

Brendon Prince 
Water loving adventurer, lifeguard, water safety crusader and educationalist, blessed with an awesome family in Devon. A teacher of outdoor and physical education for over 25 years with a passion for open water swimming and riding boards.  Brendon has been an open water lifeguard for over a decade and has set up over 50 water based events for thousands of swimmers and athletes.  Chairman of Torbay Surf Life Sving Club, he has always promoted water safety, drowning prevention and 'getting wet' for the health benefits to body and mind.  Brendon set up the charity Above Water with the help of Jonathan Harry after the tragic drownings that occurred at Mawgan Porth in 2014.

Charity Trustees

Charity Joint-Chair
Jonathan Harry
Procurement Director at CRH. 
Jonathan is an experienced director who has held several board positions focused on Procurement and Commercial activities.  Currently he is also developing innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions.  He is passionate about fairness, Wales and the environment, making sure we leave the best possible legacy for future generations. 
Above Water is particularly important because he has seen first-hand the devastating effects of drowning and just how many near misses there are all around our islands every year.  Giving everyone, especially children, more understanding of seas and rivers is a great gift and a key life skill.
Ashley Bevans
Partner Solicitor Wollens
Having moved down to Devon at a very young age, he quickly fell in love with the outstanding lifestyle offered by both coast and country living in ‘the Shire’.  Being a keen paddle boarder, the prospect of supporting Above Water in a trustee capacity was too good an opportunity to refuse and shares the passion for promoting water safety in tandem with enjoyment for the water.  Equally, helping and assisting others has always been personally important to Ashley who has previously also assisted in the running of a Cub Scout group. Outside of work, Ashley can be found as an instructor for Torbay Alpine Ski Club or at Exeter Chiefs supporting the boys to victory.


Conrad Gillespie
‘Impact & Partnership Development Manager for Emerging & Enabling Technologies’ at the University of Exeter.
His primary role is to help innovative businesses to develop and commercialise new technologies emerging from pioneering scientific research. By building robust strategic relationships across industry, academia and policy-makers, Conrad develops collaborative opportunities, to drive impact and help underpin the future of UK industry.
Conrad was born and bred in Guernsey, surrounded by the sea. His waterborne passions include surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, swimming and kayaking, and he is keen to promote the education of water safety.



Matthew Bettesworth
Owner Bettesworth Chartered Surveyors & property agents.
Matt is a keen waterman who lives with his family in Torquay. He is married to Becky and has three children Heidi, Bertie and Tom along with their Golden Retriever Squiggle. Matt runs a family business of Chartered Surveyors in Torquay and when not working enjoys his time paddleboarding, surfing, skiing and mountain biking. He has a great passion for water safety and is proud to be a Trustee of the Above Water charity.



Daniel Tisdall
Managing Director at Quanta Consulting and Quanta Investment
Jess Hawken
I have spent a large part of my life in the water, swimming competitively until my teens and now I swim weekly in the sea and compete annually in swim/ run events around the UK. I have lived in Brighton, Vancouver and now back here in Devon, all places where I have enjoyed water sports and spending time out on boats with my family. My 3 children all swim, surf and my eldest sails so water awareness and safety is very important to us. Alongside my sport and family I work as a physiotherapist and also teach Pilates here in Torquay. I am passionate that education is the best way to prevent sea related deaths and the Above Water charity is a great way to do it. By involving schools as well as community groups this knowledge can be spread widely and passed on. We all come into contact with water whether you live by the sea, enjoy going on it or sitting on the beach next to it on holiday. No one knows when this knowledge may help to save a life but more importantly educate people how to safely enjoy water whether it is the open sea or a city based canal. I am very lucky to be a trustee of such a worthy charity which strives to allow us to understand and therefore safely enjoy the water around us.
James Twigger
Chartered Accountant and owner of Accounting4Everything