A man described as older than 70 and from Wilmington died Sunday morning during the Open Water Classic portion of the Escape the Cape Triathlon near Cape May.

The man, whose identity was not released, had nearly completed the one-mile swim portion of the event when lifeguards noticed him in distress near the finish about 8:30 a.m., according to a statement issued by event organizer DelMoSports Elite Shore Events and the Delaware River & Bay Authority.

The man was removed from the water to the beach in Lower Township near David Douglass Sr. Memorial Park, where emergency medical personnel administered CPR, the statement said. He was taken to Cape Regional Medical Center but did not survive. An autopsy was expected to be performed.

“I’m heartbroken,” said Stephen DelMonte, CEO of DelMoSports LLC.

According to the company’s website, the ninth annual event included a 12-foot jump off the Cape May-Lewes Ferry into the Delaware Bay, followed by a one-mile swim, a 23-mile bike ride, and a five-mile run.