Man dies at Great North Swim on Windemere in the Lake District

His death is not being treated as suspicious

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The Independent Online

A 52-year-old man has died after competing in a swimming challenge in the Lake District on Friday afternoon.

He was flown to hospital by air ambulance “as a result of a medical emergency” after the incident during the Great North Swim in Windemere, Cumbria Police confirmed.

The unnamed man was from Wallington, south London, the police said.

His death is not being treated as suspicious. A coroner will now investigate the death further, police added.

The challenge was part of the Great Swim Series - the UK's biggest exhibition of open water swimming. Events are staged in clean and safe lakes, lochs and docklands in various areas of the country, its website states.

The Great North Swim will continue in Windermere on Saturday and Sunday, featuring half-mile, one-mile, two-mile or 3.1- mile courses.

Windermere is England’s largest lake, stretching 10.5 miles (17km) across Cumbria from Ambleside to Newby Bridge.

"Expert safety kayakers" accompany swimmers at the event, according to the organisers Nova International, which it advertised as suitable for swimmers of all abilities.

"Most people taking part will not have swum in the outdoors before, so you won’t be alone!" the Great Swim website reads.

The events firm released a statement, expressing its condolences on Friday.

"Nova International deeply regrets the tragic loss of life at the Great North Swim today and offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of the individual concerned.

"In the case of a fatality there is a strictly planned procedure that we adhere to with the professional organisations. We must ensure that the next of kin are informed before any further comment is made but we will provide an update as soon as we are in a position to do so," the statement added.