Name released for athlete who died during IRONMAN swimming relay
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Richmond County Coroner’s Office is investigating a death that occurred in the Savannah River on Sunday morning during the swimming relay of IRONMAN 70.3 event.
The victim was identified as George R. Hall from Martinez, according to Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen.
An Augusta Fire Department water rescue member on a jet ski assisted in pulling Hall from the water and began performing life-saving measures. Hall was then put on a boat where emergency medical technicians continued performing aid until they reached the dock. He was then moved to the ambulance and taken to the hospital.
“I was heartbroken,” said David Hudson, a longtime friend of Hall. “Here was a man in the prime of his life doing something he enjoyed doing, which was athletics.”
He says this wasn’t Hall’s first triathlon.
Hudson has been a close friend for more than thirty years. It will be tough for him to go work and see that empty office.
“It was a joy everyday to see him and talk to him, and share things of mutual interest,” he said. “That empty office is going to be the greatest loss.”
IRONMAN released this statement to News 12:
“We are incredibly saddened to confirm the death of a race participant at the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta. The athlete received immediate medical attention upon swim safety personnel being alerted of the distressed athlete during the swim portion of Sunday’s race. We share our greatest sympathies with the family and friends of the athlete and will continue to offer them our support as they go through this very difficult time. We thank the swim safety personnel and first responders who worked quickly to provide the athlete with medical support. In respecting the family and athlete’s privacy, we will have no further comment.”
An autopsy is scheduled at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation lab early this week. The investigation is still in the early stages.
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