Swimmer dies in 8th Olango Challenge
The awarding program of the 8th Olango Challenge took on a gloomy turn yesterday after it was announced that one of the swimmers had died.
Jose Antonio Aboitiz, chairman of the organizing PBSP-Visayas, was in tears when he told participants that a male swimmer identified as Eduardo Oriondo, 54, died while competing in the 2K Competitive Category.
Oriondo was brought by paramedics to the Mactan Doctors’ Hospital where he was declared dead.
It was the first time a serious accident had taken place in the eight years of the open-water marathon.
Oriondo who served in the Philippine Air Force was set to retire in two years. Records showed that he was a veteran of Cobra Ironman triathlons and competed in last year’s Olango Challenge. He placed second in the 2014 Hunat Sugbu Triathlon in Argao, Cebu.
A colleague said that a day before, Oriondo even joined a swimming competition with fellow soldiers as part of their team building in Compostela.
Aboitiz, who was the first to spot the swimmer underwater, said he saw a man who was motionless and submerged at a depth of around 40 feet. Aboitiz was swimming his way for a second turn in the 6k competitive division. He said he immediately called for help. Members of the Naval Forces Central (Navforcen) arrived on a boat but had to return to shore to get an oxygen tank.
When they returned to the spot, Aboitiz had already dove underwater to retrieve the victim. Oriondo was immediately brought ashore where paramedics started resuscitation procedures.
Navforcen’s PO2 Peter S. Junillo said the victim moved when he tried reviving him.
“Gumalaw pa, kaya sa isip ko, baka maka-survive pa to,” said PO2 Junillo.
FN1 Elisto Lardin, said safety precautions were in place.
“Hindi naman nagkulang ‘yung lifeguards, napagod na siguro yung tao. Hindi naman problema yung current. Baka pinilit lang nya yung sarili niya,” he said.
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