Saxon Bird.
Saxon Bird.

Warnings were ignored

SYDNEY ironman Saxon Bird drowned in wild seas during the 2010 Australian championships at Kurrawa.

The 19-year-old national age champion, renowned as a strong swimmer, was knocked unconscious by a riderless ski just as officials, after numerous warnings, were about to call off his event.

Bird told a fellow competitor he did not want to race in the rough conditions, an inquest was told.

State Coroner Michael Barnes found officials had ignored warnings from then Gold Coast police chief Superintendent Jim Keogh, who had made "morbidly prescient predictions about the coroner's involvement".

Saxon's death prompted rule changes to improve safety and prevent a similar incident.

Matthew Barclay, a champion junior competitor who won two gold medals in the past week, was wearing a fluorescent lycra singlet, compulsory for the first time this year following the Saxon Bird tragedy.


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