Authorities helped 169 triathlon swimmers out of the water off Venice Beach Sunday during the 11th annual Los Angeles Triathlon.
Paramedics say one person nearly drowned and another was treated for saltwater in her lungs. And, a female lifeguard was hospitalized after suffering a back injury during a water rescue. None of the injuries are considered life-threatening.
Firefighters say it’s unclear why so many swimmers needed assistance.
Race organizers questioned the number of assists and rescues and told local news agencies that the fire department exaggerated the number of people who were rescued.
Nearly 3,000 triathletes started the race at 7:15 a.m. with a 0.9-mile swim followed by a 24-mile bike race and a 10-kilometer run.