Louis ‘Dewey’ Slater, 65, Dies After 1500 at U.S. Masters Swimming Nationals

MISSION VIEJO, California, August 7. THIS afternoon at the U.S. Masters National Championships in Mission Viejo, Fig Garden Swim Team swimmer Louis “Dewey” Slater, 65, passed away after being rushed to a hospital following complications that caused him to falter during his 1500-meter freestyle swim.

Swimming in lane 7 of heat 21, Slater became distressed and lifeguards immediately jumped into the pool to begin life-saving protocols and procedures. This occurred during the live stream of the U.S. Masters National Championships, which turned the camera away from the situation respectfully.

Paramedics came into play to take over from the lifeguards as they attempted to save Slater’s life en route to the hospital. He passed away while at the hospital, and his family has been notified.

Following the meet delay, U.S. Masters pulled aside timers and swimmers, asking them if they would prefer to cut the evening short with other swims postponed until the final day, or go on with the rest of the day of swimming. According to those close to the situation, everyone wanted to continue swimming, saying that Slater would have wanted it that way.

USMS Official Statement
On August 7, 2013, at the USMS Summer Nationals in Mission Viejo, Calif., USMS member Louis Slater, 65, of the Fig Garden Swim Team from Fresno, Calif., suffered a cardiac arrest while swimming the 1500-meter freestyle. He was treated by on-scene emergency personnel and transported to Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Slater’s family was notified.

Following the medical delay, timers and swimmers were offered the opportunity to continue with the remaining nine heats of the 1500 or reschedule to Sunday afternoon. Both parties wanted to continue and the competition resumed. Slater will be honored with moment of silence before the competition starts on August 8. USMS extends it deepest sympathies to Slater’s family and teammates.