Man dies during Naples triathalon

CREATED Jan. 12, 2014

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NAPLES, Fla. - Tragedy at an event meant to promote health. 

 
A man died Sunday morning while participating in the HITS Triathlon in Naples. 
 
Collier County EMS says the man died after going into cardiac arrest during the swim portion of the race. 
 
Emergency crews pulled the man, who is estimated to be in his 60's, from the water near the beach access point at Vanderbilt Road. 
 
Revival attempts by paramedics were unsuccessful. 
 
The man was taken to North Collier Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
 
The victim was participating in the 750-meter swim portion. That would have been followed by a 12-mile bike ride and a 3-mile run. 
 
Tom Struzzieri, CEO of HITS, released a statement on the tragedy.
 
"We at HITS are saddened by this terrible tragedy. The safety of all competitors is, and continues to be, our first priority. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the deceased... It is small consolation, but should be noted, that the professionals hired to be sure that the swim was the safest possible experience were positioned, trained and tirelessly endeavored to save the swimmer's life."
 
Struzzieri says 15 certified lifeguards were on duty, as well as medics with North Naples Fire Rescue. 
 
Authorities are still investigating and have not identified the victim.