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Cliff Rigsbee, an outstanding age group triathlete for 35 years, died from injuries sustained during a rescue watercraft training accident near Diamond Head, Oahu on June 14, 2016.
Rigsbee, 63, a 21-year veteran of the Honolulu Fire Department, was being towed on a sled behind a jet ski operated by a fellow member of Engine Company 7 in rough surf about 10:45 AM Tuesday, June 14. The two men hit a big wave at a surf break known as Suicides. After the wave passed, the operator of the watercraft looked back and saw Rigsbee floating unconscious in the water.
Rigsbee was brought to shore by firefighters and Ocean Safety personnel. He was treated by paramedics and taken to Straub Medical Center in critical condition where he died late Thursday night, June 16, 2016.
Cliff meant a lot to the running and triathlon community as an outstanding athlete as well as a great coach. We wish to honor him in a special way, thus this Tinman Triathlon is now called Cliff Rigsbee Tinman Triathlon.
Many of us, Cliff included, stopped at the drinking fountains at Operation Red Wing Medal of Honor Park to hydrate before we ascended or descended Diamond Head Road. The drinking fountains at this park are very old. Cliff's friends and family plan to replace them with new drinking fountains in his memory. This gift to the City and Coundy of Honolulu will be appreciated fo many years to come.