On October 23, 2010, Francis Crippen, an American national, drowned while swimming in the sea near the shores of United Arab Emirates. He was only 26 years old.
Francis’ story shouldn’t strike you as very unusual. Thousands die every year because of drowning. In fact, your best guess would be that it’s such a non-event that it wouldn’t have found even a single mention in any of the prominent newspapers. However, what I haven’t told you about Francis is that he was no ordinary swimmer.
All three of Crippen’s sisters were competitive swimmers. Being inspired by his sister Maddy, Crippen started swimming at the age of six. Maddy was a 2000 Olympian in the 400 individual medley. Crippen’s other sister Claire was an Olympic Trials qualifier. Teresa Crippen, Fran’s third sister was a member of U.S. national swimming team. Francis himself was a six-time US National Champion and won several international medals.
This is the account of the events that followed on that fateful day.
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