A swimmer in his forties drowned while taking part in the annual Hong Kong Harbor Race on Sunday,
He was pulled unconscious from the water and rushed to hospital where he was certified dead, public broadcaster RTHK reports.
Another swimmer, a woman in her sixties, was rescued after she also fell unconscious and is in intensive care.
Both swimmers had completed about half of the 1.5-kilometer marathon.
A record 3,000 people took part in the swim between Lei Yue Mun Sam Ka Tsuen and Quarry Bay Park, watched by 120 lifeguards.
Ronnie Wong, president of the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association, said the lifeguards were enough for the event but the international standard is one lifeguard for every 10 swimmers, RTHK says.
A clinical assistant professor in the University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Medicine said strong waves — and hidden heart disease — might have contributed to the tragedy.
Dr. Rex Lam said people should think twice before taking part in tough athletic events.
The race was first held in 1906 but concerns about pollution led to its cancellation in 1978. It was revived in 2011 after water quality improved.
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