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'Rockstar' Skyline High swimmer helps save coach's life between backstroke races

Skyline High School Swimmer Claire Keller
Posted at 8:24 AM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 14:21:51-05

MILLCREEK, Utah — A Skyline High School swimmer is credited with helping to save a swim coach's life at a recent 5A competition.

Claire Keller, a junior at the school, had just finished a medley backstroke race when she saw a coach from a competing team had collapsed, a Facebook post from the Granite School District says.

"If someone's in a situation like that, I'm just glad that I was able to help, because that's what I'm trying to do. That's my job. That's what I'm here for!" Keller told FOX 13.

Another lifeguard had already come to the coach's aid, but Claire noticed additional help was required, so she put down her cap and goggles and ran to offer her assistance.

"Claire is a lifeguard at Holladay Lions Recreation Center and has gone through rigorous training. She knew it was time to take charge of the situation. Claire rolled him onto his back, took his pulse and checked for breathing. He had a pulse but was struggling to breathe and was purple in the face," the post says.

Claire thought the coach may have been choking on something, and the team helping the coach performed a jaw thrust technique.

"Luckily, he was able to spit out his gum and started to come to. Claire assisted in keeping him calm until paramedics arrived," the post says.

After assisting the coach, Claire went on to swim another 100-meter backstroke race. She told FOX 13 she didn't make her best time on the post-rescue race, but she was happy with her performance given what she had just experienced.

"You are a rockstar!" the school district's post said.