Tragedy struck in Orleans, Massachusetts today as a former NCAA Division III swimmer died while taking part in a routine lifeguard test.
At 22 years of age, Jack Jakubek was a recent graduate of the State University of New York Cortland (SUNY-Cortland), where he was a 4-year veteran of the NCAA Division III school’s swim and dive team. As a breaststroke specialist, Jakubek was one of three captains of the squad during his senior year.
During tryouts for Pilgrim Lake beach lifeguarding yesterday, May 28th, Jakubek reportedly slipped beneath the surface at 8:49am, only to be found half an hour later by an Orleans Fire Department diver. He was reportedly recovered approximately 150 to 200 yards from shore at 9:23am.
Emergency personnel attempted to resuscitate Jakubek, but the young man was declared dead after having been brought by ambulance to Cape Cod Hospital, according to The Cape Cod Times.
Of Jakubek’s death, SUNY Cortland Coach Brian Tobin commented, “It’s a true loss for us all, but I can say that we’re all better off for having had Jack in our lives and having known him. He was a very good high school swimmer, and over the course of his four years here at Cortland, he continued to improve, progress. He had a tremendous work ethic.”
Tobin continued, “He was not just passionate, he knew what his priorities were. Jack was the guy that everybody could rely on. He was a great teammate for those around him. And he wasn’t just a teammate for people on the team. He was a great teammate in life.”
The situation is under investigation by both the local Orleans Police, as well as by the Massachusetts State Police.