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New England triathlon turns dangerous when rescue boat overturns

Posted May 10 2010 1:50pm


In all ten triathletes and two firefighters had to be rescued and pulled from the water when a New England triathlon turned dangerous in rough and cold weather this weekend.

It was the season open race in Hopkinton State Park in Ashland, Massachusetts but racers, organizers, and firefighters got more than they planned for when the wind picked up and the weather turned cold.

"Windy and cold. As the race went along it got worse and worse. I talked to a lot of people after. They said the water conditions were really tough. They couldn't breathe either way when they were swimming," race participant Don Morse told .

The swim portion of a triathlon has proved to be the most dangerous according to THIS recent study.

At least 10 out of the 500 people racing needed rescuing from the frigid water. However in the chaos of the swim too many triathletes tried to cling to the the same 17-foot firefighter rescue boat.

"The people were supposed to hang on the side of the boat, but some of them climbed in. You know, the chop picked up, the cold temperatures, the wind, the boat took on water and it started going down," said Ashland Fire Department Lt. David Iarussi.

The boat eventually overturned and sank, and a second rescue boat had to come to the aid of the racers and two water-bound rescue firefighters.

"The last thing you want to hear, as a firefighter, is one of your guys calling Mayday," added Iarussi.

Follow on twitter @ everymantri or view latest videos on YouTube .

The swim portion of the race was canceled and the triathletes were treated for hypothermia. Two rescue kayaks also flipped over in all the chaos.


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