People usually start thinking about death when something tragic happens, including in the sport context. At the beginning of 20th century, in South Brazil, four rowers died while they practiced their sport, coming back from an excursion to an island near to Porto Alegre, the capital city of Rio Grande do Sul, where they lived. Following the tragedy, the newspapers published details, both of the tragedy itself, and the ensuing commotion of society, with reflections about life, its fragility and death. This sporting tragedy is a suitable example for trying to understand the way we think about death in sport, given its vast newspaper coverage and the effort to remember the event throughout the 20th century. The interpretation of newspaper sources and reflections on the event will also be considered through the lens of the philosophy of existence of Martin Heidegger. The sources revealed that the shipwreck tragedy made it possible for people to realize that being mortal affects us existentially – that we can never return back to this moment (it is fleeting, it is here and then gone), that we have to make choices that we cannot take back, and that we ourselves are finite beings.