Swimmer Who Suffered Heart Attack During Race at Waikiki Beach Dies

Waikiki Beach Swimming Competition on Labor Day

A swimmer who had to be rescued after suffering an apparent heart attack during a race at Waikiki Beach on Labor Day has died, according to the Honolulu County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Lifeguards responded to reports of a swimmer suffering from cardiac arrest around 9:30 a.m. on Monday.

Rescuers were able to pull the man from the water and performed CPR before Honolulu Emergency Medical Services (EMS) took the man to the emergency room in critical condition.

Just after 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, the ME’s office announced the man had died.

The victim was identified as Gustavo R. Penilla of Long Beach, California. The cause of death was drowning and the manner of death was classified as an accident.

Gustavo Penilla of California

According to friends, the 54-year-old had trained extensively for the Waikiki Roughwater event. More than 700 swimmers participated in the 2.4-mile race. Penilla had been swimming competitively since he was eight years old.

RIP Gustavo R. Penilla (June 1, 1968 – September 7, 2022)

On July 23, Dr. Shahriar Jalali Mazlouman unexpectedly died while swimming in a public pool in Saskatchewan, Canada. He was 44.

On July 28, Dr. Candace Nayman died after having collapsed a few days earlier during a training swim. The Canadian triathlete was 27.

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