LOWER TOWNSHIP – A man aged at least 70 died while competing in the annual Open Water Classic on Sunday morning.
The victim was near the end of the 3-mile race around 8:30 a.m. when he began to struggle, according to event organizer DelMo Sports and the Delaware River & Bay Authority.
Rescuers spotted the man in distress and got out to attempt a rescue. They took him back to the beach near David Douglass Sr. Memorial Park.
Despite the efforts of emergency medical services, the man could not be revived. He was taken by ambulance to Cape Town Regional Medical Center.
The victim has yet to be identified, but a statement from DelMo Sports and the DRBA confirmed he was from Wilmington, Delaware.
The Open Water Classic, part of the Escape the Cape Triathlon, begins with swimmers jumping off the Cape May-Lewes ferry.
“Appropriate safety precautions were followed,” DRBA spokesman James Salmon said. He added that the health and safety of athletes was the “top priority”.
DelMo Sports CEO Stephen DelMonte said he was “heartbroken”.
“DelMoSports and USA Triathlon have lost a beloved community member, and we send our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” DelMonte said.
Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]
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