Outrigger canoe paddler dies after Mooloolaba race

A COMPETITOR in an outrigger canoe event at Mooloolaba has died despite desperate attempts to save his life.

Lifeguards, a lifesaver and paramedics performed CPR on the man after he was brought to shore at The Spit about 2.30pm yesterday, but he did not survive.

A police spokesman said the man, aged 49, was believed to have been from the Gold Coast.

He was competing in the To Moffat and Back Regatta hosted by the Panamuna Outrigger Canoe Club.

The cause of the man's death was unclear late yesterday.

The 12km short-course events had just started when the man became ill.

Australian Outrigging Canoe Racing Association South Queensland zone president Grant Withrington said the man's team had been about 1km offshore when he showed signs of distress.

Mr Withrington said the man was brought to shore within minutes by a powered support craft.

A person with medical training aboard the support boat attended to the man on the way to the beach.

Surf Life Saving Queensland regional manager Aaron Purchase said the man had been brought to shore about 250m from the Spit lifeguard tower where two lifeguards and a lifesaver who had been on a jetski patrol performed first aid until paramedics arrived.

The man was taken to hospital but died.

Mr Withrington said all that could be done had been done to save the man.

"In situations like this, people are tested and the people that responded very quickly and every one did what they were supposed to do, and did the best they could under the circumstances," he said.

Mr Withrington said he did not know the man and was trying to find a way that the outrigging community could support his family during their grief.

"We are a family of paddlers in this sport and although we compete on the water, we do respect each other and we always try and help each other," he said.

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