Experienced Open Water swimmer dies during FINA Event

From Swimming World

“FUJAIRAH, United Arab Emirates, October 23. SHORTLY after the FINA Open Water 10K World Cup swim today in the UAE, United States swimmer Fran Crippen, 26, passed away after falling unconscious during the race.

With the water in the mid-to-high 80s, the competitors all finished and noticed that Crippen had not crossed the finish line. Meet management brought in deep sea divers, who found Crippen unconscious just before the final buoy nearly two hours later. He was transported to the Fujairah Hospital and later died according to information provided to Swimming World. Conflicting reports state that he was found dead on the course.

Crippen had shown signs of slowing down during the third lap of the five-lap race. When Crippen did not immediately finish, a fact noticed by teammate Alex Meyer who screamed for help, the competing swimmers rushed back into the water to help with the search.

Information provided to Swimming World demonstrates that the water was likely too hot for the event as several swimmers were treated for heat exhaustion after the race.

This was the last open water swim of the year for Crippen, and he had planned to take a vacation to Italy.

Born in Philadelphia, Pa., Crippen was a member of the illustrious Crippen family who grew up at the Germantown Academy in Fort Washington. Crippen’s top finish in the sport came at the 2009 World Championships when he finished third in the 10K swim in Rome. He also won a pair of Pan Pacific silver medals in the 10K at both the 2006 and 2010 editions. In the pool, he won two silver medals at the 2003 Pan American Games in the 400 and 1500 freestyle events. Overall, he has won six U.S. national titles with two in the 800 free, two in the 5K and two in the 10K.

After prepping at Germantown, Crippen swam for the University of Virginia and was an 11-time All-American and two-time Atlantic Coast Conference Swimmer of the Year. More recently, Crippen swam for the Mission Viejo Nadadores.

All three of his sisters have had their own success within the swimming community. Maddy was a 2000 Olympian who swam for Villanova, while Claire in an NCAA All-American for the University of Virginia. Teresa is an NCAA finalist who currently swims for the University of Florida. “

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