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64-yr-old woman drowns after getting into difficulty during open water swimming race

14 Comments

A 64-year-old woman died after she got into difficulties while taking part in an open water swimming race in Yaizu, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Sunday afternoon.

According to police, Masako Tsurumi was one of 24 participants in the race. She was part of a 4-person relay team, with each having to swim 400 meters. Sankei reported that a lifesaver spotted her struggling in the water outside the course with about 100 meters to go. By the time the lifesaver got her to shore, she had already stopped breathing.

The woman was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

Race organizers said there were no waves at the time.

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14 Comments
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It is always sad to hear of athletes dying in what should should just be a recreational activity with limited risk.

In this particular case, though, while there is not information to assess all of the factors at work, I do wonder about the management of this event. If there were 24 participants and each participant was part of a 4 person team, that would mean there would only be 6 participants in the water at any one time. One wonders how many lifeguards there were monitoring the race, particularly if some of the participants were older. Equally, one wonders where the lifeguards were stationed.

I have seen enough of these type of races to know that if there are sufficient number of lifeguards who are attentive and who have access to the proper equipment (such as a surf rescue board), it would be highly unusual for a participant to get into difficulty long enough to stop breathing before a lifeguard could get to them, particularly with a limited number of participants in the water at one time (6) and a relatively short open water swim (400m).

Again, just some observations. And, of course, there is no information on the underlying condition of the woman, other than her age, so obviously her fitness and health could be a factor here as well.

It is just a shame that this woman didn't make it home from what should have been a fun afternoon of sport and camaraderie with friends and fellow competitors.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

No emergency speed boats etc.??? what kind of event is this?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Couldn't get to her in time? What a poorly planned event.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

400 m does not seem like a long swim, what was the problem?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

seems like a very poorly organized event.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

lifesaver spotted her struggling

I would think she went into muscle Cramp and from the article the lifesaver didn't save a life he brought in a body. Assuming that respiratory arrest is the victim's only problem, the heart is still beating CPR in the water technique was never tried.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Need an autopsy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

lets wait until the autopsy report has come back before we make judgements and comments

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What's open water swimming?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These stories are hard enough to read in general, but knowing it happened so close to where I live makes it all too real. Be safe everyone!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Open water swimming is swimming in a natural body of water, as opposed to a pool.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Brian WhewayJun. 22, 2015 - 07:36PM JST

lets wait until the autopsy report has come back before we make judgements and comments

or... write and publish a story, for that matter.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"lets wait until the autopsy report has come back before we make judgements and comments"

I am thinking the autopsy will say death by drowning. Just a hunch.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ah_soJun. 23, 2015 - 06:30AM JST "lets wait until the autopsy report has come back before we make judgements and comments" I am thinking the autopsy will say death by drowning. Just a hunch.

I'm guessing there will be no autopsy. Likely cause, if not underlying cause, is already known so it will probably be skipped.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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