A US swimmer recently fainted and sank at a bottom of a pool, forcing her coach to conduct a thrilling rescue which was successful in the end.

The scare and the aftermath that followed occurred earlier on Wednesday at the 2022 FINA World Championships where US swimmer Anita Alvarez fainted by the end of her solo free final. In mere seconds, Alvarez sank at the pool’s bottom before her coach took matters in her own hand and conducted a successful rescue operation.

The coach Andrea Fuentes, was quoted after an an interview with MARCA saying, “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.”

After she was brought out of the pool, she was taken straight to the medical center on the stretcher. Tension was palpable across the venue with fans, teammates, and competitors looking visibly shocked. In her interview, coach Andrea Fuentes explained, “It was very intense. I think she was at least two minutes without breathing because her lungs were full of water.”

In its statement shared on USA Artistic Swimming’s Instagram page, it was further revealed that Alvarez is doing well and will be taking June 23 to recover.

The Facts of the Matter

For many fear of water is something that keeps them away from indulging into swimming and other water related sports. However, the recent ordeal at the FINA World Championships is something that will make the most seasoned swimmers think twice before entering the pool.

What Caused Anita Alvarez to Faint?

On Wednesday, US-based artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez and her support staff had a massive drowning scare after she fainted and sunk at the bottom of the pool at the above-mentioned event. Reportedly, Anita suffered a concussion while performing her routine, which led to her fainting.

Coach Becomes Hero

Things could have escalated to a devastating end had it not been the expertise and bravery of Anita’s coach. Her coach, Andrea Fuentes, wasted no time and leapt in to rescue the US swimmer. Without any rescue gear, and dressed in only a t-shirt and a pair of shorts, she dove to the pool’s bottom and dragged Anita Alvarez back to the surface before the incident could turn any more catastrophic.

“Big scare…”: Coach Gives Account of Incident

Later, the coach, with her swimmer on the two, received assistance as to how to reach the pool’s edge. In a subsequent interview, Andrew gave an account of the incident and said, “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.”

Lifeguards Didn’t React: Coach Alleges

In her interview to a newspaper, the four-time Olympic artistic swimming medalist Andrea Fuentes remained critical of the slow response time of the lifeguards at the World Championships. “When I saw her sinking, I looked at the rescuers, but I saw that they were stunned. They didn’t react,” Fuentes was reported as saying by the newspaper.”

“I thought, ‘Will you jump in now?’ My reflexes kicked in quickly. I’m like that, I can’t just stare,” she said. “I picked her up and lifted her, obviously she was heavy, it wasn’t easy,” she added.

Not First Such Instance for Anita

While certainly scary, it should be noted that this is not the first time Anita fainted in the pool. Earlier in 2021, at the Olympic qualifier held in Spain, she was performing and had fainted in the pool. Back then as well it was her coach Andrea who jumped into the pool to rescue her.


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