Dozens of triathletes caught down with diarrhoea and vomiting after ‘swimming in s**t’

At least 57 triathletes fell unwell with diarrhoea and vomiting after participating in swimming competitions off the Wearside coast, well being officers have stated.

About 2,000 folks took half within the UK leg of the World Triathlon Championship collection in Sunderland final weekend, which included a swim off town’s Roker seashore.

The UK Health Security Agency stated it will ship these with signs a questionnaire and ask them to ship a pattern for testing to find out the reason for the sickness.

It stated in a press release: “UKHSA’s north east health protection team is working with British Triathlon and Sunderland City Council following reports of diarrhoea and vomiting in a number of participants who took part in the UK leg of the World Triathlon Championship Series in Sunderland.

“Organisers of the event have written to all participants to ensure they are aware and to advise anyone with symptoms to seek medical advice. The risk to the wider public is very low.”

Environment Agency sampling on the seashore in late July detected 39 occasions the quantity of e-coli discovered within the water throughout typical readings.

E-coli is a bacterial an infection that may trigger abdomen ache and bloody diarrhoea.

Australian triathlete Jake Birthwistle, who competed within the occasion, posted the Environment Agency’s outcomes on Instagram and stated he had felt unwell after the occasion.

He stated: “Have been feeling pretty rubbish since the race, but I guess that’s what you get when you swim in s***. The swim should have been cancelled.

“At least I know now what got me and a bunch of other athletes who raced sick and ill. Well done and I hope you get better soon too.”

Another stated: “That now explains why I spent Monday night with my head in the toilet after racing Sunday morning!”

The stretch of shoreline the place the swim happened has been on the centre of a long-running dispute between campaigners and the Government over sewage discharges.

Surfers Against Sewage map displaying hotspots throughout the nation

(Surfers Against Sewage)

The Environment Agency stated water off the seashore was classed as glorious final 12 months based mostly on samples taken within the earlier 4 summers.

British Triathlon, the governing physique for UK triathlons, advised The Observer the company’s sampling outcomes weren’t printed till after the weekend’s occasions and have been outdoors the physique of the water the place its competitions happened.

It stated its personal testing outcomes handed the required requirements for the occasion.

Northumbrian Water insisted there have been no sewage discharges on the seashore since 2021.

An Environment Agency spokesperson stated: “We routinely sample and monitor bathing waters, including at Roker, to provide information for bathers and support our ongoing work to improve their condition.

“The beaches at Roker and Seaburn were both classified as ‘excellent’ last year based on samples taken throughout the season from May to September over the last four years.

“Temporary dips in water quality can be caused by several factors, including heavy rain.

“We will continue to investigate pollution sources and drive improvements to ensure cleaner and healthier waters for people to enjoy.”

A Northumbrian Water spokesperson stated: “We have had no discharges from any of our assets that might negatively impact water quality at either Roker or the neighbouring Whitburn North bathing water since October 2021.

“Both bathing waters were designated as ‘excellent’ in the latest Defra classifications and sampling to date in the current season indicate this high quality is being maintained.”

British Triathlon has been contacted for remark.

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