Ex-rugby star Steve Begley ‘left drowning for 20 minutes’ during triathlon

Steve Begley (right) in play against opposition Gala at the Myreside Stadium, Edinburgh.
Steve Begley (right) in play against opposition Gala at the Myreside Stadium, Edinburgh.
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A former pro rugby player was drowning for 20 minutes before being pulled from the water during a triathlon, an inquest in Singapore has heard.

Former Glasgow Hawks and Glasgow Accies player Steve Begley, 42, died during the Singapore Triathlon in September, with an inquest currently looking into his death.

Mr Begley’s family claim that the nearest lifeguard working at the event was attending to another injured swimmer.

They want improved safety measures at the event to prevent further such deaths occurring, the BBC reported.

Calvin Lee, also 42, died during the swimming portion of the same event eight years.

Vanessa Raymundo, Mr Begley’s partner, told BBC Radio Scotland that she watched his swim from the shore.

READ MORE: Rugby star dies during triathlon

His body was found about 200m from where Ms Raymundo watched, having suffered heart failure.

Ms Raymundo wants future participants to be subject to health checks for underlying medical conditions and has queried the number of lifeguards patrolling during the event.

“Was the safety detail deployed actually adequate to cover the area and the number of athletes that are in the water during that time?” she said.

“From the CCTV footage it doesn’t seem that the lifeguard had the capacity to cover two zones during the time the other lifeguard was going back to shore, assisting another participant.

READ MORE: Steve Begly obituary

“As to whether it would make a difference if Steve was found sooner, we will never know.”

Mr Begley’s family said they did not want to apportion blame for his death, but want to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

Ms Raymundo said: “When it’s a sporting event of this calibre, so many participants, they should really have the most adequate safety procedures in place.

“Because they always say the safety of the athletes is the most important - well they should back that up with adequate safety detail and safety procedures.

“All we want is to be able to prevent or minimise the probability of this happening to another athlete.”