Star swimmer dies at lifeguard tryouts
A record-setting college swimmer and recent graduate died Saturday during lifeguard tryouts off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
State University of New York-Cortland 2016 graduate Jack Jakubek was participating in a fitness test for potential lifeguards at Pilgrim Lake in Orleans, Massachusetts, according to statements from the Orleans Fire Department and the University.
“At approximately 8:49 a.m. a swimmer went missing,” the fire department said.
A multiagency search and rescue operation was immediately launched, including emergency teams from Orleans, Barnstable County, State Police and the U.S. Coast Guard.
“A male victim in his 20s was located by divers at 9:23 a.m. off-shore. He was transported by fire to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, where he was pronounced dead,” the fire department said.
Jakubek graduated in May with an outdoor recreation degree, according to SUNY. He was a school record-holder in the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard breaststroke.
“Jack was an outstanding athlete, but he was even more remarkable as a person,” said head coach Brian Tobin in a statement. “His loss is devastating to the Red Dragon swimming and diving family, the SUNY Cortland community and beyond.”
Tobin said Jakubek planned to return to Cortland in the fall to pursue a master’s degree and work as a graduate assistant coach.
“I knew I could depend on him for anything at any time. Jack visited with me the day after graduation, and we talked about his plans for the summer, the next year and life in general. As he walked to the car, I remember being impressed by how he had everything planned out and put together for himself. It makes an unfathomable event like this even harder to comprehend,” said Tobin.
Jakubek graduated from Monroe-Woodbury High School in Monroe, New York, in 2012.
“Jack is perhaps best remembered for being a star member of the high school swim team,” said Superintendent Elsie Rodriguez in a statement. “Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to Jack’s family and friends at this difficult time.”
Jakubek’s death is being investigated by the Cape and Islands District Attorney.
By Mayra Cuevas