GREENWOOD, Ind. – A high school swimming coach passed out while under water and was rescued by a freshman team member who spotted that he was in trouble and dragged him to the side of the pool.
Greenwood coach Chas Grimm had challenged team members to see whether any of them could swim farther than him without coming up for air during Wednesday afternoon's practice. Freshman Hannah Fuller said Grimm was on his third lap when she saw him suddenly twist and float toward the surface, but his head remained underwater.
"People said, 'Oh, Hannah, he's just faking,"' the 15-year-old said of her coach. "I got in and went in the lane next to him, and I thought, 'I don't know that he's OK."'
Fuller saw that Grimm was stiff and his face was blue and began to pull him across the lanes to the edge of the pool. Because of his weight, Fuller was forced to stay underwater while she dragged Grimm.
Another coach dove into the water to help pull out an unresponsive Grimm, and a student on duty as a lifeguard performed CPR. Grimm, who soon began coughing and gasped for breath, spent the night in the hospital before being released.
"It was just adrenaline," Fuller said about the rescue. "Everybody wants to give me so much credit, but I think that that those others who helped should be given credit, too."
Grimm was back coaching the team at a swim meet on Saturday.
"There could have been a lot of bad things that happened to me," he said. "I'm very grateful everyone acted quickly."
Grimm said his near-drowning experience was a valuable lesson for the swimmers.
"This shows that safety is very important and it doesn't matter how good of an athlete you are," he said.