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 Elliotâ€™s career has been put on hold.
His love for the water brought him to Southern.
â€œIâ€™ve been swimming since I was about eight years old. I definitely enjoyed it right away. Iâ€™ve always been around the water being from the south shore of Long Island,â€ 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.
â€œIt 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,â€ 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.
â€œThe 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,â€ Elliott explained. â€œI 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.â€