Photos courtesy of Shawn Benjamin, Cape Town, South Africa.

Vineyard Swimming Club wrote that 60-year-old Theodore Yach passed away yesterday. “A wonderful man, entrepreneur, protector of the oceans, developer of Cape Town inner city, supporter of Vineyard Swimming Club…long distance swimmer Theodore Yach passed away yesterday [on] 17th October from complications related to pneumonia.”

His brother Derek Yach wrote, “Seems he had a chest infection; did the Waterfront swim; felt he needed antibiotics- his doctor had him hospitalized where he died.”

The shock of the larger-than-life South African’s unexpected passing is quickly reverberating through his local community and the global open water swimming community well beyond the shores of Cape Town. Dr. Tim Noakes told the Sunday Times that Yach’s death was a great tragedy. “He was a remarkable man and his swimming achievements were exceptional. He was just a lovely guy‚ he was always positive‚ always gentle‚ always looking on the good side of life. He was a great leader‚ a great person.”

The Cape Long Distance Swimming Association reported, “Yach was undergoing routine tests for an asthma complaint when he collapsed and died in hospital on Wednesday. Theodore is a veteran of 108 Robben Island swims‚ an English Channel swim and many other international distance swims. He will be remembered as a humble gentleman who loved motivating the youth to achieve their dreams. He was a friend to all and took interest in all swimmers who shared his passion for sea swimming.

[He was] a true gentleman who stood up for what was right [and] will be missed in the Cape Town