Southern Connecticut State swimmer Dan Elliot was one of the best in the Northeast-10 Conference, and had big plans for this upcoming season. But Elliot’s career has been put on hold.
His love for the water brought him to Southern.
“I’ve been swimming since I was about eight years old. I definitely enjoyed it right away. I’ve always been around the water being from the south shore of Long Island,” Elliott said.
As a junior, he won multiple conference championships and broke the conference record, both individually and on relays. But at Jones Beach on Long Island this summer, everything changed. Elliott was working as a lifeguard one day when a swimmer called for help.
“It was actually the day that Hurricane Bertha was rolling in, so the swell was much bigger, and the tide was coming in and out much more quickly,” he said.
As a lifeguard for the last five years, Elliott had probably made over 200 saves. He thought this one would be routine, but it was anything but.
“The guy was stuck out in a rip current, and I went out to get him, and a wave was coming in, and it just happened to be bad timing,” Elliott explained. “I wound up diving and actually hitting my head. Immediately I knew something had gone wrong because I hit my head, and I felt a shock go through my entire body.”