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.