NAPLES, Fla. - A man in his 60s died this morning of cardiac arrest during the Sprint Distance Triathlon race in Naples.
It happened during the swimming portion at Vanderbilt Beach. HITS Endurance, which organized the race, released this official statement:
"We at HITS are saddened by this terrible tragedy. The safety of all competitors is, and continues to be, our first priority. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the deceased," said Tom Struzzieri, CEO of HITS, who was present on-site.
"It is small consolation, but should be noted, that the professionals hired to be sure that the swim was the safest possible experience, were positioned, trained and tirelessly endeavored to save the swimmer's life. Even though only 300 athletes, separated into two heats, were swimming in the race at the time, we had fifteen certified lifeguards on duty as well as the North Naples Fire Rescue boat with a medic/EMT aboard. In addition, the ALS (Advanced Life Support) Unit headed by E.R. Physician Dr. James Augustine was at the race site as well," added Struzzieri.
Investigators have not released the identity of the person who died.