Relatives puzzled as ‘good swimmer’ drowns

hakeem-relativesRead Trinidad Express

Relatives of 19-year-old Hakeem “Kerron” Austin, who drowned in Valencia River on Saturday evening, are still trying to understand how the teenager went under the water and failed to resurface as he was described as a good swimmer.

“He was a strong, strong swimmer. He loved the water and since he was small, he was always making laps at the beach, in pools, in the river.  Basically, wherever it had water he was at home. So we find it very strange that his friends said he got into some difficulty and couldn’t get out,” said Austin’s mother Latoya Browne.



It’s never to late to learn to swim


More than a third of American adults can’t swim the length of a 25-yard pool, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you’re among the 37 percent of adults who can’t, you’re at greater risk for becoming one of the nearly 10 people who drown each day, on average. Inability to swim is the No. 1 “risk factor” for drowning, the CDC says.

Nearly 80 percent of drowning victims are male; 70 percent are adults. Black children are three times more likely to be drowning victims than are white children.

The good news is if you don’t know how to swim, it isn’t too late to learn – no matter how old you are, says the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation, the charitable arm of U.S. Masters Swimming.

Photo by smith_cl9

Lael Profitt plans to become the youngest ever to complete the Triple Crown of Ocean Swimming

lael-proffitYou can support her efforts here on indiegogo

Lael Profitt, who is currently 15 years old, will swim the 20 mile Catalina Channel, completing the first leg of her larger goal: becoming the youngest person ever to successfully complete the Triple Crown of Ocean Swimming: Crossing the Catalina Channel; Circling Manhattan; and Crossing the English Channel.


Pier Plunging Craze Hits Faroe Islands

At the beginning of this Easter holiday, a social fad started spreading here in the Faroes, that had next to everyone and his brother jump into the harbours. A cross between NekNomination and Tombstoning, as you can see in this compilation video off our national TV (see

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Brett Fraser steps up to prepare for Commonwealth Games


Swimmer Brett Fraser is gearing up for the Commonwealth Games qualifiers in Arizona or the Bahamas in the next couple of months. 

New York-based Fraser reached the 50 meters and 100m freestyle semifinals at the London Olympics so should not have any problems qualifying for the Glasgow Games in July. 

“There are a lot of sacrifices I have to make now,” Fraser said about his preparations. “You have to watch your diet and step up your training a bit and start traveling more. It’s an adjustment but it’s something I’ve done in the past and always look forward to doing.”


Agave fundraiser honors English Channel swimmer Allison DeFrancesco

allison-defrancescoRead VailDaily

When doctors declared Allison DeFrancesco in remission from cancer at the age of 21, they told her to “You’re done (with treatment.) Go be normal.”

“I thought, ‘What does that mean?’” said DeFrancesco, who was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a collegiate swimmer at New York University. She spent a couple years in treatment, finally receiving a bone marrow transplant. The process robbed her of her swimming season, graduation and left her tired and discouraged.

As she struggled to get back on her feet post-cancer, she was hit with another blow — her coach and mentor, Lauren Beam, died of colon cancer in 2011. She wanted to do something in memory of Beam, something that would keep her from defining herself as a “cancer survivor” and nothing else.

“Why not swim the English Channel?” she thought.


Swimmers go off deep end over lifeguards’ ‘sick leave’

Read The Standard (Hong Kong)

The public swimming pool in Victoria Park was forced to close for several hours yesterday morning when eight of its 11 lifeguards took sick leave.
The closure left scores of swimmers fuming, with the pool only reopening in the afternoon when a sufficient number of lifeguards reported for duty.

The lifeguards were believed to be protesting the Leisure and Cultural Services Department’s refusal to listen to their demands to increase manpower at Victoria Park and other public pools.

The action began with three lifeguards taking sick leave, leaving only eight working at the pool.

Since the complex requires at least nine lifeguards to be on duty, the department closed a multipurpose pool, but left the main pool open.

Around 10.15am, five more lifeguards went off sick, forcing the department to close the main pool.

Photo by MichaelTyler


Swimmer nearly dies crossing Sound on a dare


The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office identified Robert David Walters as the man pulled from the Santa Rosa Sound Monday after trying to swim cross the waterway on a dare.

The 53-year-old man was still in very critical condition at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center Tuesday afternoon, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Michele Nicholson.

Walters was in cardiac arrest when a bystander pulled him to shore near the Nauti Girls restaurant under the Brooks Bridge about 3 p.m., said Capt. David Stone with the Fort Walton Beach Fire Department.

Firefighters and emergency medical personnel were able to obtain a pulse before rushing him to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, Stone said.

Photo by Infrogmation

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