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Madison firefighter is second man to die after swim portion of triathlon

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MADISON — The second man who was found unresponsive in the water during the swim portion of Madison’s Sunday Ironman 70.3 triathlon died Tuesday after fighting for his life for 48 hours, according to the City of Madison Fire Department.

The Fire Department identified the man as Todd Mahoney, an apparatus engineer with the Fire Department and occasional chief’s aide for Command Car 31.

Mahoney was rescued from Lake Monona at about 8:50 a.m. Sunday, after being found unresponsive in the water.

Around an hour before Mahoney was rescued, another man, Michael McCulloch, 61, of Cottage Grove, was also found unresponsive in the water. McCulloch was pronounced dead at the hospital, and the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that his death “was consistent with an accidental drowning due in part to a medical event.”

According to the Fire Department, Mahoney and McCulloch’s deaths were caused by separate medical emergencies.

Fire Department spokeswoman Cynthia Schuster said previously that it is possible some kind of medical emergency prompted Mahoney to go under water. The Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office has not yet released a cause of death.

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Once Mahoney was taken to shore, emergency lifesaving efforts were immediately administered, and those efforts continued on the way to the hospital. Mahoney remained in critical condition for 48 hours. He passed away Tuesday morning at the hospital.

Mahoney, a 9-year veteran with the Fire Department, had previously served at Fire Station 9 on Midvale Boulevard and as a paramedic at Fire Station 8 on Lien Road.

Mahoney is survived by a wife and three sons.

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