Sarasota officials investigate death of Dartmouth swimmer, 21, at YMCA pool

Tate Nathaniel Ramsden. Dartmouth College photo

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — A trip to Florida ended in tragedy over Christmas weekend when a Dartmouth College swimmer died at a Sarasota YMCA pool.

An autopsy is being conducted on Tate Nathaniel Ramsden, 21, to find the exact cause of his death.

Investigators with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office say Ramsden was a collegiate swimmer who attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire on a swimming scholarship. He was visiting the area with his mother, sister, uncle and a cousin.

Tate Nathaniel Ramsden. Dartmouth College photo
Tate Nathaniel Ramsden. Dartmouth College photo

On Dec. 26, Ramsden went with his sister, uncle and cousin to the Selby Aquatic Center at the Sarasota YMCA located at 8301 Potter Park Drive. Ramsden had been swimming laps at the pool and swam 4,000 yards before practicing an underwater swimming technique.

Investigators believe he was trying to complete what is called a “100,” which is a technique in which a swimmer completes four laps across the pool without surfacing for air.

At some point during his practice, his sister Ashley noticed a lack of movement by Ramsden while he was underwater. Lifeguards at the scene were alerted and removed him from the pool. They started CPR in an attempt to resuscitate him. Paramedics were also called to the scene, but Ramsden could not be resuscitated.

The Sarasota YMCA released the following statement about the tragedy-

“Every year for the last seventy years, thousands have arrived at our YMCA and our expectations were that they would have a wonderful experience during their stay.

Unfortunately, there was an aquatic emergency Saturday at the Evalyn Sadlier Jones YMCA Branch Pool and a 21-year-old guest passed away after being extracted from the pool by our lifeguards.  

Our thoughts and prayers go out to this man’s family at this time. This event is nearly impossible to comprehend, and he and his family are in our hearts.

It is important for all to know that, as is our custom, we are immediately launching an investigation into the incident and are cooperating with all local authorities in their investigations.”

Students and staff at Dartmouth College are mourning Ramsden’s death. In an email to students and faculty, Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon wrote that Ramsden’s family has planned a memorial service next weekend in his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.

Ramsden swam for Dartmouth as a freshman and sophomore. He was scheduled to graduate in 2017.

Hanlon wrote that school officials have been in touch with Ramsden’s family “to share our deepest sympathies with them at this time of heartbreaking loss.”

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