Lou Rabinowitz describes his first experience with Triathlon on the Triathlete Magazine LinkedIN group posts. Here is his account of that first scary and exciting experience.
"My first tri was in the early 80s. The swim was an open-water event. Coincidentally, there was a bass fishing tournament on the lake the morning of the triathlon, and the tri promoters recruited the fishermen to act as "first responders" in the event a swimmer got into trouble.
The tri started in typical fashion with lots of churning water. As a first-timer I was overwhelmed and took in a lot of water. I was able to swim about 100 yards to a marker buoy. I grabbed the buoy and held on, wondering if I'd be able to continue. Suddenly I became aware of bass fishermen converging to the buoy--the navy to the rescue! Then and there I determined that I couldn't live down the embarrassment (headline in the next day newspaper: "Triathlete Rescued by Bass Fishermen"), and was able to complete the race." - Lou Rabinowitz