Swimmer dies during long distance swimming competition

While competing in the FINA Open Water 10-kilometer World Cup, a swimming race held near Dubai, 26-year-old Fran Crippen, died. According to news reports, Crippen was a medal-winning member of the U.S. national team who in July placed fourth in the 10K and third in the 5K at the 2010 world championships in Quebec. Temperatures at the time of the race had reached abnormally high levels for competition—roughly 87° in the water and 100° on land—and Crippen was said to have told his coach late in the race that he wasn’t feeling well. When Crippen failed to finish, several competitors turned around to start a rescue effort. The rescue concluded when deep-sea divers recovered his body near the final buoy on the triangular two-kilometer course. (Three other swimmers were hospitalized and later released with what were believed to have been heat-related issues.) According to the Sports Illustrated coverage, Crippen’s death marks the first fatality at a FINA event.

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