There is seemingly something about the start of a triathlon that can take a presumably healthy candidate and tax their heart into a cardiac event. Could it be the lack of a warm-up? the water is too warm or or too cold. Low QT syndrome and/or even fright?
From the Florida Times Union:
"... The 44-year-old man suffered an apparent cardiac arrest and was rescued from the water by event lifeguards, said Eric Garvey, spokesman for the Jekyll Island Authority.
EMTs from the Jekyll Island Fire Department met the lifeguards on the beach and began performing CPR immediately, Garvey said. ..."
Open water swimming is the "wild west" of our sport and it needs a lot of investigation as to how to make it safer. From water temps, to heart rythms, to safety standards.
Above is a photo of the Alcatraz Sharkfest boat drop-off and starting line taken by Scott Belland.