With that in mind, when you compare that there was a single triathlon swim death in 2003 versus 9-fatalities in 2011, why is it that when the sport grew 259% in those years the fatalities grew a disproportionate 900%?
From 2003 to 2012 Nearly 4xs the amount of athletes died during the swim than they did on the bike. When compared to running more than 15xs more swimmers died than runners.
Possible causes: Wetsuit fit, swim conditions, frantic race starts, heart defects, stress. However, one doctor who is a triathlete has his own theory which has been discussed here on the blog in the comments section:
Dr. Rudy Dressendorfer, a longtime triathlete, disagrees. He thinks the problems arise when athletes do not warm up before starting the swim. Going from a resting stage to a sprint can put pressure on the heart, and a violent escalation of blood flow can shatter capillaries in the lungs, causing pulmonary edema.
I completely agree.