Hundreds of athletes pulled from water IM 70.3 Morro Bay, strong current causes big problems

Ironman 70.3 Morro Bay (Picture: Ironman)

There were bizarre scenes at Ironman 70.3 Morro Bay last Saturday: the Age Group-only race in California had to deal with a huge (under)current in the water, causing hundreds of athletes to get into trouble and eventually be pulled out of the water. The images (at the bottom of this article, ed.) are shared by American actor Alec Merlino.

Merlino is known from the American series White Lotus among others and a triathlete himself, and says he has never seen a swim like this before. “The current kicked up and was pulling everyone to a point where they were making no forward momentum. My sister said she swam for nearly 30 minutes realizing she was in the same spot.

Because the water was also below 14 degrees, many athletes ran into additional problems. Over three hundred people were pulled from the water, while many other athletes recorded swim times of one hour to ninety minutes.

Ironman earlier came into disrepute when two athletes died during Ironman Cork. There, too, athletes ran into trouble due to strong currents, and it was later revealed that the Irish federation had not given permission for the swim to take place at all.

Watch the footage shared by Merlino here: