Despite warnings from locals, Swedish Olympic sailing coach Don Nordqvist drowned last Wednesday when leaving Denia Harbor in Alicante, Spain in bad weather to personally check the racing area and decide whether to continue with his training program.
Strong easterly winds sustained over the prior two days in the area had created a big swell and powerful currents outside the harbor entrance. Heavy gusts and a sea water temperature of 57° F were registered on Wednesday at nearby Oliva weather station.
Fifty-two year old Nordqvist, who was in charge of the Swedish Olympic sailing team, had spent one month as a guest of the Denia City Council and Club Nautico and was training two student groups from the Swedish town Motala.
At around 1:30 p.m. local time, the experienced sailor was leaving Denia Harbor on a RIB crewed also by a 30-year-old woman when a large wave flipped the boat over. Neither were wearing life jackets.
Onshore witnesses were able to throw a life ring to assist and later rescue the woman, who was taken to the hospital with hypothermia, minor injuries and shock. A helicopter was used to rescue Nordqvist, but efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.
Courtesy of www.ibinews.com.