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Madison Fire Department truck

One man is dead and another is in critical condition after being pulled from Lake Monona during the swim portion of the Ironman 70.3 Wisconsin triathlon Sunday morning, the Madison Fire Department said.

The first man was found unresponsive in Lake Monona around 7:50 a.m., the Fire Department said. The second man was found unresponsive in the water about an hour later.

Fire Department spokeswoman Cynthia Schuster said the first man was found “helpless in the water,” and chest compressions were immediately started as he was being taken to shore by boat by Ironman staff.

Fire Department paramedics and EMTs administered emergency lifesaving efforts on both men when they got to shore, which continued as the men were taken to local hospitals.

A similar incident happened a week ago when an Elkhorn man died during the swim portion of a triathlon in Jefferson County. The 59-year-old man had a medical event that caused him to go underwater. The incident was not treated as a drowning.

Schuster said it is possible that some kind of medical emergencies caused the men competing in Sunday’s Ironman to go underwater. The medical examiner will determine what caused the death.

Schuster said there is no indication that the incidents involving the two men were related.

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Emily Hamer is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. She joined the paper in April 2019 and was formerly an investigative reporting intern at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.