Race Safety Lax During Swimmer's Death

The death of open-water swimmer Fran Crippen during an October race in United Arab Emirates has been investigated and have publicly stated there is a need to improve the sport's safety standards, reports say.

Crippen, a six-time U.S. national champion, died near the end of a 10-kilometer marathon World Cup event. He slipped beneath the surface of the water and his body was not found until two hours later, reports say. Crippen's death was the first competitive fatality in the sport's history.

Former International Olympic Committee vice president Dick Pound, who headed a separate investigation for USA Swimming, said, however, that he received no cooperation from the international governing body, despite numerous requests for information about the incident.

Crippen's family is evidently going to keep pressure on FINA, the sport's international arm, until the safety recommendations are adopted, which concerns the high temperature -- 87.8 degrees Fahrenheit for the water and or a combined water and air temperature of 145.4 in outside, reports say.

An autopsy concluded that Crippen died from drowning and heat exhaustion. The course had no mandatory health and safety certificate, and organizers had no liability insurance demanded by FINA, the task force said. Those changes are for FINA to prevent racing in water above 82.4 degrees, and look at a safe ratio of combined air and water temperatures. In addition, the family wants GPS technology to be used to track swimmers, reports say.

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