Classic stunt ends in terrible tragedy


From the Phoenix NewTimes Blogs, read also
SwimmingWorld Magazine.

A former Arizona State University swimmer drowned in a university-owned swimming pool early Monday morning, and authorities suspect alcohol was involved.

James Rigg and Andrew Schneller, both 22 and former members of the ASU swim team, sneaked into the Mona Plummer Aquatic Complex in Tempe about 1:30 a.m. Monday by hopping a fence surrounding the complex.

ASU Police Commander James Hardina tells New Times that Rigg and Schneller then had a contest to see which of them could swim the farthest under water.

“When Scheneller came up he noticed Rigg was not swimming,” Hardina says. “He thought Rigg got out of the pool and was hiding so he got out and looked around for him. Then, he noticed his friend had sunk to the bottom of the pool.”

Hardina also points out that the pool is 18 feet deep and no lights were on.

Once he noticed Rigg on the bottom, Schneller pulled him out of the water and started giving him CPR before calling 9-1-1.

Rigg was taken to Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead about 3 a.m.


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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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