COUNTY CORK, IRELAND (WNCT) — A Canadian man in his 60s and an Irish man in his 40s both died on Sunday, August 20, after getting into difficulty during the swimming portion of an Ironman triathlon event in County Cork, Ireland, local media reported.
The men were named as Ivan Chittenden (64), who had traveled from Toronto, and Brendan Wall, who was in his mid-40s and originally from County Meath but living in Solihull, England.
According to the Irish Examiner, the two got into difficulty separately during the swimming course, and were both pronounced dead at different locations along the sea front of the town of Youghal, where the event began. Post-mortem examinations were being carried out on August 21.
Video by David Quinn, who told Storyful he was there as a spectator, showed the rough seas at the beginning of the swim. A half-distance event, originally due to have taken place on August 19, was postponed due to the lingering effects of Storm Betty, which hit the Irish coast on Friday, August 18.
According to a statement given to local media, the event organizers said: “During the swim portion of Sunday’s race, safety personnel provided immediate medical attention upon recognizing the athletes were in need of assistance. We share our greatest sympathies with the family and friends of the athletes and will continue to offer them our support as they go through this very difficult time.”