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2013-03-03 6:42 PM

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Subject: Swim death at Alcatraz
Other board reporting an Austin TX man died during the swim at Alcatraz. Sounds like conditions were tougher than normal.

. RIP and condolences

Edited by ChrisM 2013-03-03 6:43 PM



2013-03-03 6:47 PM
in reply to: #4644646

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Royal(PITA)
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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz

Water temp was reported in the low 50's.  Don't know about any other wind or weather factors.

Very sad.  RIP.

2013-03-03 6:49 PM
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Queen BTich
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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz

That's sad. 

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/san_francisco&id=9014338

2013-03-03 6:53 PM
in reply to: #4644646

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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz
ChrisM - 2013-03-04 11:42 AM Other board reporting an Austin TX man died during the swim at Alcatraz. Sounds like conditions were tougher than normal.

. RIP and condolences

2013-03-03 6:54 PM
in reply to: #4644646

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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz
ChrisM - 2013-03-04 11:42 AM Other board reporting an Austin TX man died during the swim at Alcatraz. Sounds like conditions were tougher than normal.

. RIP and condolences

According to the report he may have suffered a massive heart attack on entering the water.

Terrbile news. 

http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/man-dies-during-swim-escape-alcatraz-triathlon/nWf54/

2013-03-03 10:46 PM
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Champion
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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz

Oh, wow.  I had absolutely no idea that happened.  I will admit I was thinking about it while we were waiting on the boat.  You hear so many stories about swim deaths at events with a MUCH less "shocking" entry than this one.  I mean, for all intents and purposes it's a time trial start (vs mass start).  But the whole jump off the boat and "Zero to GO NOW" it's rather crazy.  I was thinking it was weird that you don't see more swim deaths at Alcatraz.

Anyway, very sad.

I do think the conditions were rough out there today.  Definitely rougher than when I did the race in 2009.  It was 8 degrees colder AND there were big swells (2-3 feet with white caps) slamming you in the face the whole swim.  One of the rougher OWS's I've done.  I wouldn't have been surprised if there were a lot of repos on the swim.



2013-03-03 10:57 PM
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Champion
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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz

Apparently they pulled triple the number of people out of the water than they usually do....

Article.

2013-03-04 6:00 AM
in reply to: #4644646

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Pro
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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz
sad news
2013-03-04 6:52 AM
in reply to: #4644856

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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz
jldicarlo - 2013-03-03 11:57 PM

Apparently they pulled triple the number of people out of the water than they usually do....

Article.

Yet, the race organizers say the change to the earlier date and the colder water had nothing to do with it........

 

2013-03-04 8:10 AM
in reply to: #4644995

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Alpharetta, GA
Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz
hessma - 2013-03-04 7:52 AM
jldicarlo - 2013-03-03 11:57 PM

Apparently they pulled triple the number of people out of the water than they usually do....

Article.

Yet, the race organizers say the change to the earlier date and the colder water had nothing to do with it........

 

The two previous times I've done it in June the water was 54 and 55 respectively and the weather was never in the 70s during the race.  It was 50s when I finished.

I'm surprised this hasn't happened at Alcatraz before, simply because you go from standing on a warm boat to jumping into frigid water, and a lot of the athletes don't get into the water before the race.  It is quite shocking and seems like the "perfect storm" for a cardiac event.

My heart goes out to the family!

Andi

2013-03-04 8:14 AM
in reply to: #4645076

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz
Anditrigirl - 2013-03-04 9:10 AM
hessma - 2013-03-04 7:52 AM
jldicarlo - 2013-03-03 11:57 PM

Apparently they pulled triple the number of people out of the water than they usually do....

Article.

Yet, the race organizers say the change to the earlier date and the colder water had nothing to do with it........

 

The two previous times I've done it in June the water was 54 and 55 respectively and the weather was never in the 70s during the race.  It was 50s when I finished.

I'm surprised this hasn't happened at Alcatraz before, simply because you go from standing on a warm boat to jumping into frigid water, and a lot of the athletes don't get into the water before the race.  It is quite shocking and seems like the "perfect storm" for a cardiac event.

My heart goes out to the family!

Andi



We go from a warm pool deck to a 'cold' pool all the time.  Granted, it's not 55 degree pool, but to say you go from no activity to some is the cause of a heart attack does not make sense to me. 

While a death is sad, I don't think you can simply point the finger at conditions.  I've done Alcatraz and it was 52 degrees that year.  I'm no doctor but I don't think he 'shock' of the water temp is going to cause a heart attack.


2013-03-04 8:15 AM
in reply to: #4644646

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Master
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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz
Wow this is very sad news. RIP and condolences to the family.
2013-03-04 8:37 AM
in reply to: #4645086

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Alpharetta, GA
Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz
Marvarnett - 2013-03-04 9:14 AM
Anditrigirl - 2013-03-04 9:10 AM
hessma - 2013-03-04 7:52 AM
jldicarlo - 2013-03-03 11:57 PM

Apparently they pulled triple the number of people out of the water than they usually do....

Article.

Yet, the race organizers say the change to the earlier date and the colder water had nothing to do with it........

 

The two previous times I've done it in June the water was 54 and 55 respectively and the weather was never in the 70s during the race.  It was 50s when I finished.

I'm surprised this hasn't happened at Alcatraz before, simply because you go from standing on a warm boat to jumping into frigid water, and a lot of the athletes don't get into the water before the race.  It is quite shocking and seems like the "perfect storm" for a cardiac event.

My heart goes out to the family!

Andi



We go from a warm pool deck to a 'cold' pool all the time.  Granted, it's not 55 degree pool, but to say you go from no activity to some is the cause of a heart attack does not make sense to me. 

While a death is sad, I don't think you can simply point the finger at conditions.  I've done Alcatraz and it was 52 degrees that year.  I'm no doctor but I don't think he 'shock' of the water temp is going to cause a heart attack.

Obviously that's not the case because otherwise this would've (likely) happened before.  I have a severe mitral valve prolapse with regurgitation and I rarely get heart flutters when swimming EXCEPT at Alcatraz.  I have them during the entire swim.

Andi

2013-03-04 8:43 AM
in reply to: #4644646

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Veteran
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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz
For those not familiar with Alcatraz, how far is the swim? I know it's cold etc and usually rough conditions, but what's the distance? Thanks.
2013-03-04 8:52 AM
in reply to: #4645145

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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz

taylorz13 - 2013-03-04 9:43 AM For those not familiar with Alcatraz, how far is the swim? I know it's cold etc and usually rough conditions, but what's the distance? Thanks.

1.5 miles...however they are reporting it happened once he hit the water



Edited by FELTGood 2013-03-04 9:00 AM
2013-03-04 9:09 AM
in reply to: #4644646


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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz
I don't care what anyone says, you CANNOT deny the low temps had no effect. BS. You're subjecting yourself to an extremely low temp of water, that I'm guessing most participants aren't used to. Throw in the adrenaline, anxiety, etc and you have a good combo. The simple fact is 3x the number of people were rescued. That's a red flag and the race should not be run again until the date is moved. No way in hell would I race at those temps. What a miserable experience that would be.


2013-03-04 9:13 AM
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Master
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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz

I think this says a ton:

 

Cardiologist Lawrence Creswell, MD, who chaired USA Triathlon's panel on deaths in triathlon last year, participated today in Alcatraz, and remarked, "This is my 4th time to do the race and the swim conditions were the roughest I've seen yet here. When I got back from the bike, there were still people just finishing the swim. My family said it took some swimmers 2 hours."
 
"I'm really shaken up from the swim," said veteran triathlete Derek Dalzell. "I've swam choppy water, I've swam Ironman distance, I grew up in Michigan and swam in March. I get it, it's tough, But today was dangerous. I told my family I loved them right after the swim. It was a very real and scary thing."

 

2013-03-04 9:23 AM
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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz

I know the Bay water doesn't get warm ever but it's pretty f'n stupid having a race in San Fran at the beginning of March.  51 degree water with the current they had yesterday.  No thanks!

The TriCal event in August (although it's on hold until 2014) is a much better date.

2013-03-04 9:36 AM
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Master
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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz

This is really horrible, my condolences to his family and may he rest in peace.

I have to say, when I saw they moved this race to March my initial reaction was "wow, that is NOT going to be fun at all."  I tried the lottery in the past, but this year I decided not to because of this reason.  That swim is always rough and difficult (from what I'm told), but I thought it would be much worse in March.

2013-03-04 9:40 AM
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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz
Why did they move the race to March? I have a friend who is doing the swim in early June out there. Not sure if it's a tri or just the swim.
2013-03-04 9:43 AM
in reply to: #4645086

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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz
Marvarnett - 2013-03-04 9:14 AM
Anditrigirl - 2013-03-04 9:10 AM
hessma - 2013-03-04 7:52 AM
jldicarlo - 2013-03-03 11:57 PM

Apparently they pulled triple the number of people out of the water than they usually do....

Article.

Yet, the race organizers say the change to the earlier date and the colder water had nothing to do with it........

 

The two previous times I've done it in June the water was 54 and 55 respectively and the weather was never in the 70s during the race.  It was 50s when I finished.

I'm surprised this hasn't happened at Alcatraz before, simply because you go from standing on a warm boat to jumping into frigid water, and a lot of the athletes don't get into the water before the race.  It is quite shocking and seems like the "perfect storm" for a cardiac event.

My heart goes out to the family!

Andi



We go from a warm pool deck to a 'cold' pool all the time.  Granted, it's not 55 degree pool, but to say you go from no activity to some is the cause of a heart attack does not make sense to me. 

While a death is sad, I don't think you can simply point the finger at conditions.  I've done Alcatraz and it was 52 degrees that year.  I'm no doctor but I don't think he 'shock' of the water temp is going to cause a heart attack.

Granted, it's been 20+ years since I went through the training for it, but my somewhat foggy memory of what I was taught in Navy Rescue Swimmer School says otherwise.  Cold Shock Response CAN cause cardiac arrest.  I've no idea what sorts of predispositions someone may need to have to experience it, but it CAN happen.



2013-03-04 9:47 AM
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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz

Bevie - 2013-03-04 10:40 AM Why did they move the race to March? I have a friend who is doing the swim in early June out there. Not sure if it's a tri or just the swim.

Conflict with the Americas Cup

2013-03-04 10:04 AM
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Veteran
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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz
I did Alcatraz yesterday and the swim was vicious. It was the hardest thing I have ever done physically and i am 5 months removed from my last Ironman, so that is still relatively fresh in my mind. I swam Saturday in aquatic park to acclimate, and I'm glad I did. I also think panic could have contributed here. The swells were totally brutal. I had to readjust my goggles twice and flipped on my back to do it and got slammed with swells each time. You couldn't really rest. There were accomplished swimmers getting pulled and repositioned. Personally for me, the swim depleted most of my energy which I never really recovered from and my quads were locked up all 8 miles of the "run". I am deeply saddened at the loss of life. I've been at both races where this has happened and it does take away some joy.
2013-03-04 11:28 AM
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Master
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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz
2013-03-04 11:39 AM
in reply to: #4645305

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Swim death at Alcatraz
cgregg - 2013-03-04 10:43 AM
Marvarnett - 2013-03-04 9:14 AM
Anditrigirl - 2013-03-04 9:10 AM
hessma - 2013-03-04 7:52 AM
jldicarlo - 2013-03-03 11:57 PM

Apparently they pulled triple the number of people out of the water than they usually do....

Article.

Yet, the race organizers say the change to the earlier date and the colder water had nothing to do with it........

 

The two previous times I've done it in June the water was 54 and 55 respectively and the weather was never in the 70s during the race.  It was 50s when I finished.

I'm surprised this hasn't happened at Alcatraz before, simply because you go from standing on a warm boat to jumping into frigid water, and a lot of the athletes don't get into the water before the race.  It is quite shocking and seems like the "perfect storm" for a cardiac event.

My heart goes out to the family!

Andi



We go from a warm pool deck to a 'cold' pool all the time.  Granted, it's not 55 degree pool, but to say you go from no activity to some is the cause of a heart attack does not make sense to me. 

While a death is sad, I don't think you can simply point the finger at conditions.  I've done Alcatraz and it was 52 degrees that year.  I'm no doctor but I don't think he 'shock' of the water temp is going to cause a heart attack.

Granted, it's been 20+ years since I went through the training for it, but my somewhat foggy memory of what I was taught in Navy Rescue Swimmer School says otherwise.  Cold Shock Response CAN cause cardiac arrest.  I've no idea what sorts of predispositions someone may need to have to experience it, but it CAN happen.

Anything CAN happen.  But if you have a heart attack the moment you hit the water and it happens to be due to Cold Shock Response, that is the fault of the person, not the race.  The water temperature was within a couple of degrees of when the race is normally run.

Once again, this is a tragedy, but if the athlete failed to do their due diligence by practicing in cold water, how is that the fault of the race?  or, if this was a 1 our of 1,000,000 chance, then it's also not the fault of the race.

Each person has a choice to jump off that ferry (which is quite the rush btw).  So to blame the conditions without blaming the athlete is disingenuous at best.

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