Incredible moment swimmer’s coach leaps into the pool to save her life after she FAINTED in the water at the world championships – and lifeguards at the event ‘weren’t doing anything’
- Anita Alvarez lost consciousness in the final of the women’s solo free event
- She sank to the bottom of the pool before being rescued by her coach
- Alvarez came to soon after the rescue and is reportedly recovering well
American swimmer Anita Alvarez is lucky to be alive after she fainted while competing at the World Championships and had to be rescued by her coach in stunning scenes on Wednesday.
The synchronised swimmer was competing in the final of the women’s solo free event when she fell unconscious and sank to the bottom of the pool in Budapest.
Her coach Andrea Fuentes leapt into the water and dragged her back to safety with the help of an unnamed man.
Alvarez regained consciousness soon after being rescued from the pool, received immediate first aid and is reportedly recovering well.
Anita Alvarez is rescued by her heroic coach Andrea Fuentes after losing consciousness and sinking to the bottom of the pool at the World Championships in Budapest on Thursday
Fuentes said she had to leap in because ‘the lifeguards weren’t doing it’
Another swimmer jumped in to help Fuentes after she got Alvarez’s head above the water
Fuentes (left) released a statement saying Alvarez (right) has recovered so well she could compete in another event on Saturday
‘It was a big scare. I had to jump in because the lifeguards weren’t doing it,’ Fuentes said afterwards.
‘I was scared because I saw she wasn’t breathing, but now she is doing very well. Anita is doing much better.’
The American swim team was visibly distressed by the horrific incident and were seen consoling each other by the pool afterwards.
Fuentes summed up the situation by posting a statement on Instagram.
‘Anita is okay – the doctors checked all vitals and everything is normal: heart rate, oxygen, sugar levels, blood pressure, etc… all is okay,’ she wrote.
Alvarez (centre) regained consciousness soon after being rescued and is recovering well
It’s not the first time the swimmer has fainted in the pool – she did so in Barcelona last year, and Fuentes also saved her on that occasion
The American swim team were left visibly shaken by the horrific near miss
‘We sometimes forget that this happens in other high-endurance sports. Marathon, cycling, cross country… we have all seen images where some athletes don’t make it to the finish line and others help them to get there.
‘Our sport is no different to 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 okay. Tomorrow she will rest all day and decide with the doctor if she can swim free team finals or not.’
It’s not the first time Alvarez has passed out in the pool.
Fuentes also saved Alvarez when she fainted during an event in Barcelona in 2021 (pictured)
Last year the 25-year-old fainted during an Olympics qualifying event in Barcelona, where she was also rescued by Fuentes.
‘Unfortunately I’ve seen it happen to her before – never in competition, though,’ Alvarez’s mother Karen said at the time.
‘I knew right away. On their last element, I could tell something was up. It was hard to watch, definitely.’
Alvarez finished seventh in the event, which was won by Japan’s Yukiko Inui.
Most synchronised swimming routines require athletes to hold their breath for no more than one minute at a time.