US swimmer dies in open-water race

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A map showing Dubai
Image: Ex13 (original by NordNordWest).

A United States swimmer, Fran Crippen, drowned during an open-water race today in the United Arab Emirates. The cause of the drowning is unknown. However, Crippen told his coach that he was feeling ill eight kilometers (km) into the ten km race.

The Philadelphian, who comes from a line of prominent swimmers, was participating in the FINA Open Water ten kilometer World Cup in Fujairah, Dubai. When Crippen did not finish the race, swimmers were the first to respond by returning to the water to search for him. Soon after the dive team arrived and found his body just before the last buoy of the two km triangular race course according to race officials.

He was taken to the Fujairah Hospital where he was pronounced dead. FINA President Julio Maglione said that Crippen told his coach that he was not feeling well eight km into the race. Speaking from Mexico, where he was attending Olympic meetings, Maglione added, "He continued and he was found in the deep of the water." Maglione disclosed that this was the first death in a FINA event and that they had launched an investigation into the death.

The Crippen family is no stranger to the swimming world with Maddy Crippen competing in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Terry Crippen on the US national team and Claire Crippen a former Virginia NCAA All-American.

All was under strict rules that exist in our competition. All was absolutely correct. It was an accident, a terrible accident.

– Julio Maglione