Thursday, November 09, 2006


Participation in Ironman requires a great deal of training and preparation. It is not without risk. Sadly, one athlete in Florida ended his journey on race day.

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — A Montana resident who had to be rescued from the Gulf of Mexico while swimming part of the Ford Ironman Florida has died, authorities said.
Barney Rice, 35, died Tuesday night according to Bay County Medical Center records. The cause of death was not immediately clear but an autopsy will be performed, officials said.
Rice was at about the 1.8 mile mark of a 2.4 mile swim on Saturday when other triathletes flagged down officials, according to a police report. Rescue divers who responded found Rice unconscious and not breathing but emergency officials were able to get a pulse en route to a hospital, the report said.

Ironman spokeswoman Helen Manning told The News Herald of Panama City that Ironman North America and Ironman Florida had no immediate comment on Rice's death but will release a statement in the coming week. An after-hours call placed to Ironman North America by The Associated Press was not immediately returned.

Rice owned a car and boat dealership in Kalispell, Mont., according to the paper.

Keep any family Barney may have in your thoughts and prayers.


Jill said...

That is sad.

Flatman said...

I am in shock from this. So sad.

hak said...

Ya just never know.

There was a sprint race I was scheduled to do in May and they had instituted a last-minute swim cutoff at the HALFWAY point.


The last race they did at the that location a month earlier, a guy in his late 30s had a heart attack during the swim. It was his first triathlon, but he was a former collegiate swimmer and was confident going into the water. He survived, but it freaked the race director because all of his water resources were pulled into action to save one person.

My thoughts and prayers to the Rice family.


Michael said...

There had better be an investigation into the Ironman setup down in Florida to see wether there were enough support staff for the weather conditions.

Deb said...

How tragic....

a.maria said...

:( thats super sad.

Veeg said...

That is so, so terrible. :(

Lisa said...

So sad. :(