Woman, 36, dies in swimming event tragedy

ONE of Suffolk’s biggest sporting events of the summer was marred by tragedy after a 36-year-old competitor died.

The woman, who was from Leicestershire, was pulled out of Alton Water while taking part in the Great East Swim on Saturday. She was taken to Ipswich Hospital, but later died.

Police spent the weekend trying to track down her next of kin, and a post-mortem examination is expected to be held over the next few days. She is likely to be named later today.

A police spokeswoman said the coroner’s office had been informed about the death, but if the post-mortem examination showed death was as a result of natural causes there would be no need for an inquest.

A spokesman for event organisers Nova International said they were devastated by the tragedy.

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He said: “We deeply regret the tragic loss of life at the Great East Swim and offer our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of the individual concerned.”

He said the organisers had worked with all the relevant bodies to ensure the event was as safe as possible and would be co-operating fully in any investigation into what happened.

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The tragedy overshadowed what was otherwise a hugely successful event with more than 3,000 swimmers using the event to raise money for charity.

Among those taking part was Suffolk County Council chief executive Andrea Hill, who took up the challenge after last year’s council chairman Joanna Spicer competed in the inaugural event.


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