Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Escape from Alcatraz 2013 Swim Start with rescue boats converging on Swimmer!

I found a video clip that was put up yesterday of a rescue attempt at what I believe is the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon. It may have even been the attempted rescue of the triathlete who died. I am trying to get confirmation from the the poster at YouTube. If this is indeed the fatality then the shock of the cold water may have been responsible. Apparently the water was 50-degrees and this death could have been a result of what is know as Cold Shock Response.

I think FINA and all the national governing bodies should look at this. I think race directors too. From UoP News UK:
"... Scientists are warning that entering cold water suddenly, without taking time to acclimatise, may cause abnormal heart rhythms that can be fatal. In the study, published in the Journal of Physiology, they explain how rapid submersion in cold water, combined with holding ones breath, automatically activates two powerful responses in the body which may interact and cause conflict at the level of the heart. 
The scientists, from the University of Portsmouth and Kings College London, explain how the body’s Cold Shock Response, which speeds up the heart rate and causes hyperventilation, may conflict with the Diving Response, which does the opposite and which acts to conserve oxygen. 
Normally these responses are not activated at the same time, but sudden immersion into cold water can activate both, and cause what they term ‘Autonomic Conflict’; resulting in the heart going into abnormal rhythms and, on occasions, causing sudden death. ..."



George Durzi said...

Tony, there unfortunately was a fatality in the race. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Man-dies-at-colder-than-normal-triathlon-4324933.php#photo-4276136

Tony Austin said...

Thank you for the link. I appreciate it.