When the weather takes a turn for the worse, open water swimming can become quite dangerous. Luckily for one female participant in last weekends U25 Elite Development Race in Clermont, Florida, fellow collegiate athlete Greg Schott, didn’t hesitate when the situation became dire. During the swim leg of the women’s draft legal sprint race, the surf became so choppy that athletes had to be pulled from the water.
“They had a boat out there speeding around picking up swimmers who were struggling,” said Liberty University Triathlon Team Head Coach Parker Spencer.
Schott, a sophomore Exercise Science major at Liberty University in Virginia studying to be a physical therapist, was on shore spectating as the rescue boat brought two girls back from the rough waters.
“Two of the girls were unconscious when they pulled them out of the boat, and one girl didn’t have a pulse,” said Spencer.
Schott, who had recently earned his EMT certification, along with two nurses who happened to be in the crowd of spectators didn’t hesitate to help.
“We saw the driver on the boat yelling for help as they were coming in,” said Schott. “They didn’t have the race support medics on the beach yet, so I ran over with two other nurses who were bystanders in the crowd. She was unconscious when they brought her onto the beach, and we couldn’t find a pulse, so we immediately started CPR.”
He experienced immediate success in his first live emergency situation.
“He only had to do a couple chest compressions before she started spitting up water and was revived,” Spencer said.
“It was literally right as we started when she woke back up,” Schott added.
After that incident, race officials adjusted the swim course for the men’s race that followed from one 750-meter loop to two loops of 375 meters so swimmers wouldn’t have to tread in water deeper than 6 feet.
Off-road triathlon followers may be familiar with the name Schott as he has started making a name for himself the past few years in XTERRA across North America. Greg won the 15-19 age division of the XTERRA USA Championships in 2015 after placing sixth in his age group during his freshman year in 2014.
Before heading to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships, Schott and his coach Spencer will compete in XTERRA Costa Rica on April 9th. That event was Schott’s debut as a professional in 2016. He placed 6th overall.
Read more via the Liberty University article here.