Tragedies In Open Water Swimming

Tragedies In Open Water Swimming

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California. According to data by the Daily News of Open Water Swimming, there were 16 deaths in open water swims in 2010. The first open water death of 2011 on American soil reportedly occurred this weekend during the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim when a 43-year-old father was pulled from the 80°F (27°C) water during the 4.4-mile swim and was unable to be revived by safety personnel on the water.

Safety protocols, procedures and policies can never be stressed too much in a sport that is growing fast and attracting athletes of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

Even the greatest events with the highest standards of safety can be met with tragedy. According to first-hand reports, Charles ‘Grahame’ Rice was stricken by what is believed to be a heart attack and was pulled into one of the rescue boats where attempts were made to resuscitate him.

Because Grahame worked hard to stay in shape, this was a shock to those who knew him. The local newspaper described Grahame as “a devoted father, husband, brother, son and friend to many. He volunteered in his community for countless hours and always lived every day to the fullest. Some of his favorite past times were enjoying the outdoors with his family and watching Ravens football and Maryland basketball with his children and friends. He never said no when anyone asked for help in any way. Whether it was his accounting knowledge, his peace-making skills or his strength, Grahame was the go-to-guy. He shared his knowledge as an adjunct professor at AACC and UMUC, in addition to work as an accountant for GGP in Columbia, Maryland. He was an avid weightlifter, swimmer and participated in several sprint triathlons. Grahame always had a smile to offer and was quick to laugh with a great sense of humor that lightened the room. He will be missed by everyone he touched, especially his wife and children.”

Copyright © 2008 – 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones