The most important safety of an NFL coach’s career didn't happen anywhere near a football field.
Rams special-teams coordinator John Fassel battled a riptide and helped pull a drowning man out of the Pacific Ocean to safety, ESPN reported.
Fassel was boogie-boarding in the high tide alongside Manhattan Beach last week when he saw a man caught in a riptide.
"He was less than 30 seconds away from not being able to hang in there"
- John Fassel
Fassel and Jim Burton, a nearby surfer, intercepted the man, who didn’t speak English. The flailing swimmer was in a panic with his eyes “rolling into the back of his head,” according to Fassel.
“He was totally unresponsive when we got to him,” Fassel said.
Fassel and Burton put the man onto a surfboard and, with the help of lifeguards, paddled the distressed swimmer back to shore. Paramedics tended to the man before he was sent to the hospital.
"Me and Jim said he was less than 30 seconds away from not being able to hang in there," Fassel said. "But it all happened so fast. Major kudos to Burton, the Manhattan Beach lifeguards and fire department paramedics. It was seriously amazing how fast they got on the scene. When we got him in, and he had the help he needed, we were high-fiving and celebrating."
Call it a safety dance.