CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Local swimming coaches said they are ready to act in case one of their athletes is ever in need of help while in the water.
This after dramatic images showed a U.S. swimming coach leaping into the water and rescuing an artistic swimmer during a competition last week.
Santa Fe Swim School Director Brandi Peters has worked in aquatics for 30 years. Right now, she’s the swim coach for the Santa Fe Rays.
“As a coach, you have to be ready to do that at any time, especially when you’re working with the little ones,” she said.
As a coach, Peters knows the signs when a swimmer is overexerted.
“If you are in hard-breathing rate, that’s something you can feel it yourself," she said. "Just slow it down and take a rest.”
The U.S. swimming coach, Andrea Fuentes, reacted quickly, diving into the pool to rescue the swimmer after the lifeguards’ delayed reaction.
“When I saw her feet were when she was performing the last seconds, I saw her feet went a little bit more pale than normal," she said. "So, I was like, 'Oh.' ”
Athlete Jonathan Sprinkle is a lifeguard and former member of the Santa Fe Rays swim team.
He said even the most experienced swimmer can have an accident.
“I’ve gotten really tired, but I’ve never fainted or anything like that,” he said.
As a lifeguard, Sprinkle has seen a couple fluke accidents happen.
Being in the water can be a fun experience, but it can be exhausting for athletes doing laps.
The average swimmer holds their breath for 10 seconds or more while swimming.
“We had another head lifeguard jump in for an experienced lap swimmer because she had cramps,” he said.