A tragic death occured at the HITS triathlon in Naples, Fla. on Sunday January 12. A 60-year-old male age group athlete suffered a cardiac arrest during the 750 m swim portion of the sprint race at Vanderbilt Beach. The sprint race included 300 competitors. HITS insists that the sprint events are the most popular of the races in the series.
HITS Endurance which includes HITS Triathlon Series and HITS Running Festivals released the following statement:
“We at HITS are saddened by this terrible tragedy. The safety of all competitors is, and continues to be, our first priority. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the deceased,” said Tom Struzzieri, CEO of HITS, who was present during the race.
“It is small consolation, but should be noted, that the professionals hired to be sure that the swim was the safest possible experience, were positioned, trained and tirelessly endeavoured to save the swimmer’s life. Even though only 300 athletes, separated into two heats, were swimming in the race at the time, we had fifteen certified lifeguards on duty as well as the North Naples Fire Rescue boat with a medic/EMT aboard.