California man dies swimming the East River


A 59-year-old swimmer died yesterday of an apparent heart attack during the Brooklyn Bridge Swim. Brooklyn-born Rich Harley was pulled out of the water by a passing boater and a fellow competitor, who attempted CPR at the scene. He was pronounced dead at New York Downtown Hospital.

NY Swim, which runs the Brooklyn Bridge race, qualifies swimmers to compete if they have successfully completed “Any DOCUMENTED timed open water swim race of 1.5 miles or more since January 1, 2007.” In August, Harley finished 33rd out of 57 in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Swim (1.57 miles).

NY Swim founder Morty Berger told Newsday that Harley was the second swimmer to  die during an event, and the first since 1997.