The Honolulu medical examiner identified the man who died at the Waikiki Roughwater Swim on Monday at the director of Punahou School's Academy Summer School.
The medical examiner says 48-year-old Daniel Mindich was the man who died at the event. The cause of death is under investigation.
Punahou School President Dr. Jim Scott released the following statement:
"We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of our colleague, Dr. Daniel Mindich. He was a valued member of our school community, and our hearts go out to his family. Our priority at this time is the well-being of Dan's family, his students and the Punahou community.”
The school is offering on-campus support services for students and faculty.
This was the first death in the Roughwater Swim's 45-year history.
Every year, just under a thousand people take part in the 2.4-mile swim from Kaimana Beach to the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
Mindich was brought to shore by lifeguards after he lost consciousness in the water about a mile offshore and had just started the race.
"We felt his pulse and he had a very thready pulse. It was going on and off and we put the defibrillator on and it advised not to shock," said Jennifer Loh, who administered CPR.
"[Monday's] situation with the death of a swimmer in the Waikiki Roughwater Swim was extremely unfortunate and tragic and the Waikiki Roughwater Swim Committee takes this very seriously," said Mike Lewis, media coordinator for the Roughwater Swim. "There is absolutely no aspect of this race which the primary underpinning is not safety."
Officials say Mindich was being escorted by a paddleboarder at the time who was right there to pull him out of the water and put him on his board. Mindich was taken to the hospital where he later died.
"You always want to try to help out as much as possible, so even though it's a time of family, as a physician, you always want to help out and benefit others around you no matter what," said Jeffrey Loh, who also administered CPR.
Event officials say they brought in more than 75 trained personnel, including more than 15 lifeguards for the race. Officials say the ocean conditions were relatively calm.
While responders were there on the scene when it happened, they couldn't revive him.
"It is a testament to the fact that when people enter the ocean, I think they need to seriously understand that this is an environment that they need to respect and one of the things that I always say is that if you're in a condition that is beyond your ability, then it's beyond your ability and you should stay on the shore that day, but our deepest sympathies goes to the families and friends of the swimmer," said Lewis.
Near the finish line another man had trouble on the beach. He was apparently not involved in the race, but collapsed when coming out of the water. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
Event officials say they will have a debrief about what happened on Monday, but they do not believe this will affect next year's race.