Terrifying moment: Swimmer faints in pool, coach jumps-in to rescue her

Four-time Olympic medalist Fuentes rushed to aid the swimmer after she stopped breathing in the pool.

Coach Andrea Fuentes rescuing Anita Alvarez
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Coach Andrea Fuentes rescuing Anita Alvarez. (Twitter/AFP)

Budapest: Artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez drowned to the bottom of the pool in the middle of her routine in the solo free final of the ongoing World Aquatics Championship in Budapest. The incident created a distressing scene but she was rescued by the US coach Andrea Fuentes but she later said that it was big scare.

Four-time Olympic medalist Fuentes rushed to aid the swimmer after she stopped breathing in the pool. Taking to the newspaper after the incident, Fuentes said, "It was a big scare. I had to jump in because the lifeguards weren't doing it."

Talking about the horrors of the moment, Fuentes said that the lifeguards were stunned and they weren't doing anything even after all the screams she made at them to save Anita from the pool.

"When I saw her sinking, I looked at the rescuers, but I saw that they were stunned. They didn't react," a newspaper reported her saying.


Coach Andrea Fuentes rescuing Anita Alvarez. (Twitter/AFP)


"I thought, 'Will you jump in now?' My reflexes kicked in quickly. I'm like that, I can't just stare. I didn't overthink it, I jumped. I think it was the craziest and fastest free dive I've ever done in my career.

"I picked her up and lifted her, obviously she was heavy, it wasn't easy."

Fuentes, who was in her shorts and T-shirt, dived in the pool the moment she realised that things have gone out of safety zone. She said that the swimmer is now doing fine but a medical checkup will be conducted to assess her health.


Coach Andrea Fuentes rescuing Anita Alvarez. (Twitter/AFP)


"Anita is okay - the doctors checked all vitals and everything is normal: heart rate, oxygen, sugar levels, blood pressure," Fuentes said in the statement.

"Anita's solo was so good too, it was her best performance ever, she just pushed through her limits and she found them," she further said.

"We sometimes forget that this happens in other high-endurance sports. Marathon, cycling, cross country ... we all have seen images where some athletes don't make it to the finish line and others help them to get there," she added.

"Our sport is no different than others, just in a pool, we push through limits and sometimes we find them. Anita feels good now and the doctors also say she is OK. Tomorrow she will rest all day and will decide with the doctor if she can swim free team finals or not. Thank you for all of your well wishes for Anita."

It wasn't the first for the 25-year-old Alvarez that she passed out mid-routine. A similar incident happened during qualifier in Barcelona last year.

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