Triathlon competitors fall ill with vomiting and diarrhoea following event in waters of river Eden

1 October 2023, 23:53

Triathlon competitors fall ill with vomiting and diarrhoea following event in waters of river Eden
Triathlon competitors fall ill with vomiting and diarrhoea following event in waters of river Eden. Picture: LBC / Alamy / Castle Series

By Danielle DeWolfe

Athletes taking part in triathlon event in the river Eden have been struck down with vomiting and diarrhoea after taking to the water.

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Competitors taking part in the competition last weekend claim they became ill with a variety of common symptoms after swimming in the river near Hever Castle, Kent.

Reports emerged across social media following the event, with one competitor writing: “I have never had diarrhoea or stomach cramps like this in my life. I am unable to leave my house and have been off work all week.”

Another taking part in the event wrote: “Three of us did the sprint plus on Saturday and all fell ill Sunday evening.”

The organisers of the Castle Race Series, which ran the event said that rigorous water tests had taken place in the days and weeks leading up to the event.

A spokesperson for the Castle Race Series said the safety of competitors and staff was a priority.
A spokesperson for the Castle Race Series said the safety of competitors and staff was a priority. Picture: LBC / Alamy

They added that all tests indicated the water was safe to swim in.

It comes amid widespread criticism of water companies in recent weeks, with three of the biggest water companies now suspected of discharging raw sewage into the UK's waterways.

This is said to have taken place on dry days in breach of the companies' permits, often putting open water swimmers at increased risk of infection.

A spokesperson for the Castle Race Series said the safety of competitors and staff was a priority.

They added: “We are conducting a thorough investigation in conjunction with Hever Castle and continuing our dialogue with Southern Water and the Environment Agency to understand how we can mitigate this in future.”

Read now: 57 world championship triathletes fall ill with diarrhoea and vomiting after swimming in polluted sea off Sunderland

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A spokesperson for the Castle Race Series said the safety of competitors and staff was a priority.
A spokesperson for the Castle Race Series said the safety of competitors and staff was a priority. Picture: LBC / Alamy

Water quality throughout the River Eden can be affected by such sewage overflows, with Southern Water responsible for the discharges in the region.

Following the outbreak of illness, the water company said it was not aware of any “non-compliant discharges”.

It comes just a handful of months after 57 world championship triathletes fell ill with diarrhoea and vomiting after swimming in polluted sea off Sunderland.

88 participants had reported sickness following the event, which was investigated by event organisers.

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