17 Apr 1984 – 23 Oct 2010
With immense sadness, FINA and the worldwide aquatic community are mourning the loss of open water swimmer Fran Crippen (USA), who passed away after falling unconscious during the last leg of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup, held in Fujairah (UAE), on 23 October 2010.
Swimmers noticed that Crippen had not crossed the line. Rescue workers and divers returned to the water to attempt to find Crippen. He was found unconscious, rushed to hospital and later pronounced dead, though it is suspected he died at the scene, possibly due to heat exhaustion.
Crippen, 26, had figured prominently in the last two FINA World Championships. In 2009, in Rome, he had been bronze medallist in the 10km event, while in 2010, at the FINA World Open Water Championships in Roberval (Canada), he was also third, this time in the 5km.
While the causes of this death remain under investigation, FINA and the entire worldwide aquatic community address, in this moment of grief, their deepest and sincere condolences to his family, friends and to US Aquatic Sports and USA Swimming family.
USA Swimming statement
USA Swimming, its employees, members, National Team athletes and coaches are deeply saddened today by the death of Fran Crippen. Fran was a champion swimmer but more importantly, a tremendous person, and he will be remembered for so many extraordinary qualities. We send our sincere condolences and deepest sympathies to the Crippen family, a family that is a treasured member of the USA Swimming family. We will continue to work with FINA, the meet host and others to determine how this tragedy occurred.
View part of an interview which coincided with the release of his open water DVD and focuses on how Fran got started in open water competition (6m 4s flashplayer required)
View Gold medal Mel interview (7m 31s flashplayer required)