Swimmer Dies at Annual Lake Swim in Lake Audubon

The body of a 45-year-old swimmer was recovered Monday afternoon from Lake Audubon.

Kevin Ruby was competing in the 31st annual Jim McDonnell Lake Swim when a family member noticed he was missing for more than an hour. Ruby finished a one-mile race but never showed up at the end of race two, which covers two miles.

Police believe Ruby may have drowned. Foul play is not suspected and a medical examiner will determine the cause of death, police said.

More than 600 people participated in the event. Swimmers wore bracelets, which were used to check in and out of the event. Event organizers were not immediately available for comment.

Remi Currell, who was a guard at the event, said the event was handled professionally.

“This sort of accident is not exclusive to our race. There is no way to completely [foolproof] this type of event, and the only way I can think of making it safer is to have one lifeguard per person, which is impossible.”

Police and fire and rescue personnel searched the area from Sunday noon through the night. The helicopter-assisted search resumed Monday. Ruby’s body was found around 12:45 p.m. that day.

Nearly three years ago, a 63-year-old man participating in the swim died after losing consciousness during the event.

The event happens at a Reston Association lake, but is organized by the Reston Masters Swim Team.

The team issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

Reston Masters is honored to have had Mr. Ruby compete at our Jim McDonnell Lake Swims for many years. He was a very talented top finisher. Earlier Sunday morning Mr. Ruby won his age group in the 1-mile race with a time of 23:38.

As part of all our races, Fairfax County on-water EMS staff are an integral part of our operations. We are especially grateful for the timely and extensive additional support from Fairfax County Police and Fairfax County Fire & Rescue.

Please join Reston Masters in keeping Kevin Ruby in our hearts and memories as an accomplished distance swimmer.

Photo by Fairfax County Police Department and Jessica Peachey

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