Tuesday, October 5, 2010

LACo Lifeguards All Over It Again! Re: Many Rescued and Assisted Out of Ocean at L.A. Triathlon

From: "Adam Sandler"
Date: October 3, 2010 4:47:57 PM PDT
To: tmesq@yahoo.com
Subject: Will: Yikes! LA Tri


(AP) LOS ANGELES — Authorities say 169 triathlon swimmers required help getting out of the ocean at Venice Beach during the first leg of the annual Los Angeles Triathlon.
Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey says seven of those athletes were treated Sunday at a medical tent and three of those required transport to hospitals.
Among those hospitalized was a female lifeguard who suffered a back injury during a water rescue.
None of the injuries are considered life-threatening.
Humphrey says it's unclear why so many swimmers needed assistance.
Race organizers told City News Service ocean conditions were "just about perfect" and suggested Fire Department numbers were exaggerated.
Nearly 3,000 triathletes started the race at 7:15 a.m. with a 0.9-mile swim followed by a 24-mile bike race and a 10-kilometer run.

A corroborating story appears here:


Note: The Los Angeles Times article, however, did not mention the number of competitors that had to be assisted out of the ocean.

Needless to say, "County Recurrent" has an opinion as to why so many triathlete-competitors required assistance getting out of the water: low water temps and competitors with low body fat percentages and little experience in the ocean. A recent blog post hosted by Southern California Aquatic's (SCAQ) indicates a similar opinion, including the following comment, which is very profound as it comes from the governing body, U.S. Triathlon:

"The USAT solution for making the swim portion of the triathlon safer has been to simply make shorter swims and push wetsuits. Not a bad idea since most triathletes who are determined to swim on their own can't break 2-minutes-per-100-yards."


We are also hoping for feedback from our readership and especially from any of the Lifeguards working this event who saw first hand the competitors who required assistance so that they can share with us the symptoms they observed, e.g., shock, exposure, disorientation, etc.


Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News


Service • Training • Commitment

*** Keeping the County Recurrent "in the loop"..... whether he/she likes it or NOT ! ***

County Recurrent is not affiliated with nor sponsored by LACOLA or LACoFD.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

1 comment:

spyder said...

We could ask for the basics first. Water and air temps, littoral currents, swell size and frequency, etc.; i don't think "calm" says very much at all. I find it difficult to believe that people setting out on a triathlon have had poor open water swimming conditioning. 3000 people in LA is not a lot of triathletes at all for that region. And, even if some of the swimmers were on relay teams, the caliber of swimmers just wouldn't seem that poor.

My first thought had more to do with the behavior of the swimmers in the water, behind the elites. It is not unreasonable at all to presume that there would be a great deal of shoving and pulling going on as the swim started and moved forward. People are not prepared for that until they do it, no matter how good a swimmer they are. It pays to play water polo to be a good triathlete.