Saturday, October 23, 2010

Open Water Swimmer Fran Crippen has passed away during an open water swim in the United Arab Emirates

Extraordinarily sad.. From Swimming World:

Crippen had shown signs of slowing down during the third lap of the five-lap race.
When Crippen did not immediately finish, a fact noticed by teammate Alex Meyer who screamed for help, the competing swimmers rushed back into the water to help with the search.

Information provided to Swimming World demonstrates that the water was likely too hot for the event as several swimmers were treated for heat exhaustion after the race.

This was the last open water swim of the year for Crippen, and he had planned to take a vacation to Italy.



Anonymous said...

So sad and a big shock. Tony, you are always talking about the dangers of open water swimming as well.

Tony Austin said...

Endurance athletes push themselves so hard and there is no science in regards to what temp is safe to swim in.

Apparently there was a long runway, so to speak, building up to the trouble he got into He started slowing down and suddenly disappeared.

FINA has to establish fresh water temps and salt water temps for safe swimming.

I won't jump into a pool that is 75 degrees but if someone tells me the ocean temp is 68-degrees, I won't even wear a wetsuit.

For some reason the ocean feels 10-degress warmer than a pool.

Perhaps technology like a GPS, heart-monitor, and core temp monitor could provide data to those swimmers at checkpoints?

Safer courses too.

Tim said...

As my facebook friend, he will be missed. Remember yesterday saw he wrote about going to a trip after finishing that last meet this year. Today I was really shocked to find out the story... How sad it is. May you rest in peace, Fran!

Anonymous said...

There IS water temp measurements and they WERE outside of those parameters but the race went on. Tony, there were (like) two jet skis and a kayak. They didnt have a person checking off names when they ended. It was a horrific scene. It took hours before they found him. Submerged. Dead. All swimmers went back out to search. Chaos. FINA needs to be be punished. FINA needs to change open water regulations. This is the Sept 11th of our sport.

Tony Austin said...

Good Lord!

Let's jump hard on this... Can you send me details to my email adress or point me to details?

If you prefer to remain anon - I will set up an email account for you in my name and you can log in an leave a message.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if the swimmers were wearing full body suits? Id imagine they hinder heat transfer and could be dangerous in warm water.

Tony Austin said...

The water temp was completely irrational exceeding the pool temp rule by perhaps 10-degrees.

This is not a swimmer/Coach error. This is a FINA certification error.

See new blog post.

Anonymous said...

addionally there is a FINA rule that states that you HAVE to finish the last race of the season on order to get into the final ranking (and to get the overall price money)!!!!
Think about that and that he didn´t quit the race after 8k

Tony Austin said...

Can you link me? I want to realize everything you are saying.

If you like, I will let you do a post anon if you like?

Anonymous said...
see point 12.3

Merritt Johnson said...

I just looked at the FINA rules. In summary, any of the competitors who had put in the work to build points in the series were forced to make an attempt at a 10km race in 87 degrees F water temp in order to win their prize money. Who wouldn't think they could gut out 2k more when not feeling well after 8k in order to collect some winnings?

Tony Austin said...

There was a Jane Fonda movie called "They Shoot Horses Don't They?" - It was about Marathon dancers in the 1930's. Just to earn some money the dancers would dance till they till some would die.

87-degrees is like 94-degree pool water.

I am calling into question whether emerging economies have the resources or the desire to do races and events correctly.

FINA may have an "unintentional homicide" complaint on their hands. I just looked up the definition.

danthefiddleman said...

The rules link didn't work for me. I think it's actually:
Rules and Regulations.