By Jim Melwert

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The swimming world continues to mourn the death of local athlete Fran Crippen who died in an open water swim in the United Arab Emirates over the weekend. His death is raising many questions.

Race officials say overexertion was the cause of Fran Crippen’s death on Saturday in the ten-kilometer race.

The winner of the race even said water and air temperatures were just too high for competition and many other swimmers had major issues.

A product of Germantown Academy, Crippen was an accomplished and experienced swimmer, even posting on his website in the past, how important it is to swim smart:

“That’s the biggest thing with open water is not only being fast and making sure you’re fast at the end, but being smart all the way through the race and having good feeds all the way through.”

There are no max temperatures for open water swims and race officials insist they followed all FINA regulations.

Race winner Thomas Lurz wonders why swimmers, and not rescue personnel, were the first ones in the water looking for Crippen.

He says it’s time FINA sets regulations for open water swims, especially in extreme conditions, so every swimmer is protected.

Reported by: Jim Melwert, KYW Newsradio

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