Coach Dives Into Pool To Rescue Swimmer Who Fainted Mid-Event At World Championships
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Scary scenes unfolded at the swimming World Championship in Budapest when a coach was forced to jump into the pool after her athlete fainted mid-event.
American Anita Alvarez was dramatically rescued by her coach Andrea Fuentes who dragged her to the surface where she was rushed to hospital.
Thankfully she survived and is on the mend.
25-year-old Alvarez was performing in the final of the women’s solo free artistic event but her routine ended prematurely when she fainted.
Losing consciousness, the Olympian's body went completely limp as she sank towards the bottom of the pool.
Alvarez's coach Fuentes could sense that something wasn't right and sprung into action, diving into the pool to rescue the American.
Saving her from an inevitable drowning, Fuentes heroically dragged Alvarez up to the surface of the pool where she received medical attention.
Rapid rescue.@AFP photographers Oli Scarff and Peter Kohalmi capture the dramatic rescue of USA's Anita Alvarez from the bottom of the pool when she fainted during the women's solo free artistic swimming finals at the Budapest 2022 World Aquatics Championships pic.twitter.com/8Y0wo6lSUn— AFP News Agency (@AFP) June 23, 2022
“It was a big scare. I had to jump in because the lifeguards weren’t doing it. I was scared because I saw she wasn’t breathing, but now she is doing very well,” Fuentes told MARCA.
“Anita is (doing) much better.”
Fuentes has now been hailed a hero – and rightly so.
Footage of the incident hasn't been released, but shortly after the terrifying incident unfolded, photos emerged online and they're truly remarkable.
Scary, but remarkable.
La manera de estirar el brazo para llegar antes. El gesto apurado de la cara. La vida desvanecida.— Carlos del Amor (@cdelamor_) June 22, 2022
Andrea Fuentes rescatando a Anita Álvarez en una de las fotos del año realizada por Oli Scarff pic.twitter.com/WT2yKDGidQ
Sadly this isn't the first time Alvarez has had one of these episodes during a routine.
“Unfortunately, I’ve seen it happen to her before,” Alvarez’s mother Karen told WIVB after the same thing happened during an Olympic qualifier back in June.
“Never in competition, though. I knew right away. On their last element, I could tell something was up.
“It was hard to watch, definitely.”