Teen Swimmer Dies After Apnea Exercise Goes Wrong

Story By: Ana LacasaSub-EditorAlex Cope, Agency: Real Press

An up-and-coming teen swimmer has sadly died in Spain after passing out in the pool whilst doing apnea exercises.

The 19-year-old, named in reports as Ramiro Tossone, swam for the Royal Club Mediterraneo in the province of Malaga, in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia.

The teen, who specialised in butterfly stroke and had competed with the Andalusian regional swimming team on several occasions, spent four days in intensive care in a hospital in Malaga before sadly passing away on 12th August.


According to the national newspaper 20 Minutos, Tossone had been doing apnea exercises at his club’s pool, which is when the swimmer keeps their face below the water holding their breath.

Reportedly during the exercises, the teenager passed out and when he was spotted he was dragged out the water.

The emergency services of Andalusia reported to local newspaper Malaga Hoy that they were called out to attend to the young swimmer and carried out cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him at the club.

He was then taken to the regional hospital of Malaga, where he was attended in the intensive care unit in a critical condition until he finally died on Wednesday.

One of the directors of the Andalusian Swimming Federation, Xavier Casademont, paid homage to him in national newspaper Malaga Hoy, saying: “He was one of the most healthy guys you can have in your society, in every way, he studied, did sport, always tried to be as happy as possible, always in a good mood.

“It has been a shock, he got on with everybody, I know this is what people usually say when someone dies, but it really was the case. The other swimmers who knew him have cried a lot today.

“In the junior category he won a medal in the Spanish championship, he was a very happy guy, always happy, always supporting his mates and ready to work, he was a very good person.”

Apnea is considered a risky sport as it is practised without the help of oxygen, it can be practised whilst moving with flippers or statically.

Greek athlete Giorgos Pangiotakis and Polish athlete Mateuz Malina currently hold the record for diving 300 metres (984 ft) in dynamic apnea, or freediving, with flippers in 2016.

The static record is held by the French Stephane Misfuz, who managed to stay underwater for 11 minutes and 35 seconds in 2009.

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Ana Lacasa

I am a senior writer and journalist and editor of the Spanish desk for the Central European News agency.