Two men die while swimming in Ironman event

Two men have died following an incident at an Ironman triathlon event in Ireland.

The men, one aged in his forties and another in his sixties, died during the swimming portion of the event in the town of Youghal, Co Cork, this morning.

According to reports, one was an Irish native who was living in the UK while the other was from Canada.

They were among more than 2,000 people who dived into the water at 7am to begin either the 70.3-mile half-triathlon or the 140.6-mile full race.

In a statement, the organisers for Ironman said they were ‘deeply saddened to confirm the death of two race participants at the IRONMAN 70.3.’

They added: ‘During the swim portion of Sunday’s race, safety personnel provided immediate medical attention upon recognising the athletes were in need of assistance.

‘We share our greatest sympathies with the families and friends of the athletes and will continue to offer them our support as they go through this very difficult time.’

The swim had been shortened from 3.8 km to 1.9km prior to the start, according to the Irish Examiner.

Severe weather from Storm Betty had caused the postponement of the event, which had previously been scheduled for Saturday.

A spokesperson for Gardaí said: ‘Two men were removed from the water by emergency services. They were pronounced dead by medical personnel.’

They said the coroner had been notified.

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