South African open water swimmer Theodore Yach died this week while undergoing hospital tests for asthma. The 60-year-old property developer and urban researcher was a veteran of 108 Robben Island swims and an English Channel swim, according to a statement released by the Cape Long Distance Swimming Association (CLDSA).
The organization said, “South Africa’s most renowned open-water swimmer, Theodore Yach of Cape Town, passed away peacefully on October 17 (Wednesday). He was undergoing routine tests for an asthma condition when he collapsed and died in hospital.
“He will be remembered as humble gentleman, who loved motivating the youth to achieve their dreams – he was a friend to all and took interest in all swimmers who shared his passion for sea swimming.”
Notable members of the aquatic community have voiced their sympathy in Yach’s loss, including open water swimmer/activist Lewis Pugh and Olympic medalist Ryk Neethling.
Devastated to hear of the passing of Theo Yach. One of the world’s great endurance swimmers. And so much more – family man, community leader, environmentalist … Rest In Peace my friend. pic.twitter.com/P4QL2PKSVP
— Lewis Pugh (@LewisPugh) October 18, 2018