According to @IMSouthAfrica, 2 athletes have died during the swimming leg of the Ironman 70.3 competition. They have been reported to have suffered Cardiac Respiratory Arrest. The Ironman SA Twitter account said a statement would be released soon.
Algoa FM confirmed that the 2 athletes were aged 29 and 37 had died during the race.
Ironman 70.3 SA spokesperson, Michael Flanagan said:
The two men suffered suspected cardiac arrest during the swimming event on Sunday morning.
He further said that:
They were treated on the scene before being transferred to St Dominics hospital. Both athletes failed to respond to specialised medical procedures and were certified dead.
The names of the deceased will be released once their next-of-kin have been informed.
Statement from Ironman 70.3 SA
World Endurance Africa confirms that two South African male athletes aged 29 and 37 suffered fatal cardiac respiratory arrest during the swim leg of the Spec-Savers IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa this morning, 20 January 2013.
The event Chief Doctor Izak Maree, confirmed that both athletes suffered cardiac respiratory arrest. Water safety attempted to resuscitate the athletes on scene and in the medical tent. They were then transported to St Dominic’s for further specialist investigation. After reassessment at St Dominic’s they were pronounced dead.
Both athletes had no reported history of cardiac or other medical conditions in terms of the medical details that the athletes reported to IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa.
We will be holding a minute’s silence at the awards ceremony in respect to the individuals and their families. In all the years in which we’ve staged our events, this is the first time that an incident of this nature has happened. World Endurance Africa, we express our sincere condolences to the families. It is a loss to the families and a loss to the IRONMAN 70.3 family – Keith Bowler, Managing Director World Endurance Africa.
As title sponsor, we feel devastated that two individuals, who engaged in IRONMAN 70.3 as a healthy and extreme sport, tragically lost their lives as a result of suspected cardiac arrest. Our sincere condolences are extended to their immediate family and friends of the of the athletes and as a sign of respect we have dropped our Spec-Savers branding flags on the pier to half mast and removed our flags at the finish line – Bryan Dowley, CEO Spec-Savers.
We express our deepest condolences to the family members and we feel it is very unfortunate that it happened as a result of a suspected cardiac arrest. At our first Buffalo City meeting will we have a minute of silence in respect to the athletes and their families. Unfortunately it is the first time that such a tragedy as occurred and we hope it will be the last – Cllr Zukiswa Ncitha, Buffalo City Executive Mayor.
Out of respect for the families, we will not release the names of the athletes.