CAPE MAY — A Philadelphia firefighter died Sunday while competing in the Escape the Cape Triathalon on Sunday morning, according to the city's fire commissioner.

Cape May fire officials told CBS Philly the firefighter died during the event, which started with a jump off the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. It continues with a one-mile swim, a 23-mile bike ride and a five-mile run.

The Delaware River & Bay Authority, which operates the ferry, identified the man as Dennis McDaniels, 36.

McDaniels required medical attention during the swim became unresponsive and was taken to Cape May Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, Delaware River & Bay Authority spokesman Jim Salmon said.

Philadelphia fire commissioner Adam Thiel in a message on his Twitter account confirmed that he was one of two off-duty Philadelphia firefighters who lost their lives over the weekend. "Please keep their families, friends, & colleagues in your thoughts during this difficult time," Thiel wrote.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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