FINA reveal rules STOPPED lifeguards from assisting rescue of fainted synchronised swimmer
The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has reportedly launched a review of their rules and regulations after it was found that lifeguards were unable to immediately assist a US synchronized swimmer after she passed out.
Anita Alvarez had passed out after completing her routine at the World Championships in Budapest, fell unconscious and sank to the bottom of the pool.
Only the quick intervention of her coach Andrea Fuentes saved her when she was the first on the scene to dive in, as motionless lifeguards did not respond.
Fuentes claimed she had asked the lifeguards to help, but claimed they hadn’t seen her.
However, it turned out that the lifeguards’ slow response times were due to the fact that they were unable to dive into the pool until they received a signal from the competition’s referee.
“According to the regulations, (the lifeguards) are only allowed to jump into the pool after a signal from the body of referees,” sports cardiologist Bela Merkely, who is a member of FINA’s Sports Medicine Committee, was quoted as saying by marca†
He explained that the reasoning behind the rule was “in the event of a possible misunderstanding.”
Anita Alvarez is rescued by her heroic coach Andrea Fuentes after she lost consciousness and fell to the bottom of the pool during the World Championships in Budapest
Alvarez lies at the bottom of the pool in the Budapest World Championships after passing out
Alvarez coach Andrea Fuentes said she jumped in because ‘the lifeguards didn’t do it’
Another swimmer jumped in to help Fuentes after she surfaced Alvarez’s head
Merkely added: “After the coach jumped into the pool, the lifeguards, seeing the situation, no longer waited for the judges’ signal and intervened.”
Fuentes said Alvarez was “not breathing” when she reached her, but was being resuscitated and monitored for signs of damage after the terrifying incident.
Alvarez has described not feeling too well before passing out but is still keen to compete in the team final on Friday.
It’s not known what caused Alvarez to pass out, but synchronized swimmers often have to hold their breath underwater for a long time
Her coach and another swimmer helped restore her pool for further medical attention
Members of the US swim team watching the event screamed as they watched in horror as Alvarez passed out in the pool at the end of her routine
Dramatic footage shows the moment Anita Alvarez was pulled unconscious from the bottom of a swimming pool in Budapest while competing in the World Championships on Wednesday
Fuentes said in a message that doctors checked all of Alvarez’s vital signs and that she was feeling ‘good’ after the pool scare
Alvarez’s name is on the team sheet to compete with seven American swimmers in the team-free finals, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she will participate.
Shortly after her team posted an Instagram update saying she had recovered, the swimmer was seen among her teammates while they were eating.
She told NBC Nightly News of her ordeal: “I mean, I say this all the time to her and to other people, [I’m] so grateful to have her as a coach.
“When I heard she was going to be our coach, I didn’t believe it.” About the incident, she said: “I remember thinking it was a great performance.
“Like, by far my best and not just how I performed, but just that I really enjoyed it and also really lived in the moment.
“So that’s why I feel very happy and very proud.
“And then, at the very end, I remember the very last arm I did, I gave like, it’s such a simple little arm.
This is the second time Alvarez has passed out in a swimming pool during a competition, and Fuentes comes to her rescue again during the qualifying event for the Olympic Games in Barcelona (pictured)
“But I was like giving it all to the end and I did and then I remember going down and just like, ‘uh-oh, I don’t feel so great.’
“And that’s literally the last thing I remember actually.”
Amazingly, it’s the second time Fuentes has rescued the swimmer after she was filmed diving in and pulling her to safety when she passed out in the pool during an Olympic qualifying event in Barcelona last year.
Alvarez regained consciousness shortly after his rescue from the Budapest pool, received immediate first aid and is reportedly making a good recovery.
American synchronized swimmer Anita Alvarez, who was dragged out of a Budapest pool after passing out in the water, has posted a video of her laughing and eating with her team as she tells fans she’s “ok and healthy.”
Footage from Wednesday’s event shows the U.S. swim team celebrating as Alvarez completes her solo routine before realizing something is wrong and moments later, the 25-year-old is seen being dragged from the pool by Fuentes and a male lifeguard.
Fuentes later revealed that Alvarez stopped breathing for “at least two minutes” during the ordeal after her performance in the women’s solo event.
‘I tried to wake her up. Well, I hit her and opened her jaw. But the truth is, it wasn’t until after we got to the emergency room that she didn’t breathe for at least two minutes,” Fuentes said in a Spanish-language interview on Thursday evening.
It’s the second time Anita Alvarez (left) has passed out in a swimming pool during a competition, and Fuentes comes to her rescue again at the Olympic qualifying event in Barcelona
Last year, 25-year-old Alvarez (right, in the US team kit) passed out during an Olympic qualifying event in Barcelona, where she was also rescued by Fuentes
Alvarez (pictured) quickly regained consciousness after being rescued from the pool, received immediate first aid and is reportedly recovering well
Despite her ordeal, the 25-year-old still wanted to compete for the USA in Friday’s team finals