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Old 10-24-2010
CoachBillL CoachBillL is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 62
Default Fran Crippen

Very sad news about the death of Francis Crippen, in a 10-k race in very warm water. It's hard to say at this point what we might learn from a fatality in such unusual conditions -- top competitors, by definition, have carefully cultivated the ability to carry on through pain that would make ordinary people drop out -- so knowing when to quit is just not something they're good at.
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Old 10-24-2010
CoachRosita CoachRosita is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 37
Default Fran Crippen

Thank you for informing us of this tragedy. I went into wikipedia and obtained a condensed description of Fran Crippen's many accomplishments in his all too short life. Many swimmers on this site have a goal of a 10k, myself included, let's all be careful. Condolences to his family and friends, I am sure will be in the hearts and minds of many of the swimmers on this site, again myself included.

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Old 10-24-2010
naj naj is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 624
Default Farewell Fran

This is a tragic loss for the swimming and open water swimming community. I have swum a few marathon swims (FINA defines marathon swims as 10K or above), and your right Coach Brian, one needs to listen closely to one's body and be able to distinguish pain from fatigue. I don't know all the details of Fran's passing, but I do know that it was mentioned that he was not feeling well and communicated this to his coach. I truly feel sorry for his family's loss.
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Old 10-24-2010
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380

The latest I have seen is that he suffered a fatal heart attack during the race. It is indeed very sad. It does seem that the safety of the swimmers was not given due attention, but having said that, people - even seemingly very fit people - do have heart attacks out of the blue.
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Old 10-24-2010
KatieK KatieK is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA
Posts: 295

Originally Posted by Richardsk View Post
The latest I have seen is that he suffered a fatal heart attack during the race. It is indeed very sad. It does seem that the safety of the swimmers was not given due attention, but having said that, people - even seemingly very fit people - do have heart attacks out of the blue.
Very sad to hear about Fran. The heart attack explanation makes much more sense than the initial explanation of heat-related over-exertion. A heart attack, stroke or seizure is likely to be disastrous while swimming in open water. Or while driving, for that matter. I don't think exertion could have caused him to drown, especially in salt water where it's so easy to float and wait for help.

I'm surprised to see the media calling the 87-degree water temperature a dangerous condition. I guess it's all about what you've trained for, but that temperature feels fine to me. I'm struggling to acclimate to lake temps in the mid-70's.
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Old 10-24-2010
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Dubai
Posts: 415

Very sad indeed... Fujairah is 2hours away from here by car.

Not sure if it is a factor but air temperature is still quite high here.
When you need oxygen you would rather breath in at 20C than 35C.

To give you an idea I start my running training on 01-NOV in Dubai because of the heat puts me out of breath after 1Km...

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Old 10-26-2010
emergere emergere is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 7

Being a professional lifeguard for 16 years, I am always sad when I here about people who d******n. I see this as an opportunity to examine some of the mythology and ignorance about Aquatics that causes accidents like this one.

Just as a foot note I am Autistic and have special knowledge about the water and swimming. But, I may come off sounding like a jerk so please let me know if I offend gently. It is not my intention to try and prove people wrong or right. I sit and observe people in the water all day every day.

People do and say some strange things in the water. IMHO There is a big giant empty spot in the whole water experience for most people. Let me explain some of my thoughts.

Terry's book fills in a lot of this empty space when he explains how, for instance, using a kick board is mostly counter productive. No one that I know of has used a scientific method (empirically) to prove this wrong or right which begs the question: "Why not".
I am not saying coaches don't get great results, I just wonder why no one has done the research to prove this and a lot of other things having to do with aquatics. (Under funding?). IMHO Terry is probably correct.

Another pioneer in swimming is Melon Dash. In her book on the topic of Fearful Swimmers she states that 64% of the people in this country are afraid to swim in open water, 46% are afraid to swim in a pool with a deep end, and 39% are afraid to put there face in the water. These are huge numbers. I see them every day when I watch and when I teach swimming. She speaks about the mind body connection or lack thereof in the aquatic environment. People listen to there brains in the water for breathing cues for instance, instead of training their bodies to know where the air is.

Also known for pioneering research is Harvey Barnett, PhD. He Founded Infant Swimming Resource and in his Parent workbook he states that water temperatures 88 degrees and above are extremely unhealthy. (Granted he is talking about infants and toddlers but I think it is safe to assume that this applies to adults as well). He also claims that exposure to this high temperature aquatic environment raises blood pressure and inter cranial pressure to unsafe levels.

The other part of this is that one of the myths and disconnect people have about the water temperature is that they can perceive the of it with there skin. We keep our pool water as close to 80 degrees as we can and yet no matter how you try to tell people the water is “relatively warm” they will insist that it is in fact “freezing”. And no matter how many analogies to this you present you can not convince them other wise.

Also, it has been my observation that undiagnosed heat related problems do occur at our pool here in south Florida. They are not easily detected by the guest or the Lifeguards but the clues there if you know what to look for when observing their behavior.

Finally, my point is that there is a lot of work that can be done to make the aquatic environment less mysterious and unknown. To find ways to educate people and show them that most of what they incorrectly think they know is true is probably due to misinformation and here say. That the correct information can help make them less likely to perpetuate the misinformation. And that with the right information the aquatic environment will become safer for everyone.
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