John Fassel saves a life while vacationing in California


Everyone who has been to the beach in their lifetime understands the terrifying feeling of heading into the water and suddenly realizing that no matter how hard you fight, you just can’t seem to make it back to shore. It seems that is what happened to a man last week while swimming in the Pacific Ocean off of Manhattan Beach in California. The beach is located in Southwestern Los Angeles county.

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St. Louis Rams special-teams coordinator John Fassel happened to be vacationing there this past week, and thanks to some quick thinking and heroics, he and another beach goer helped pull a man to safety, and ultimately saved his life.

Fassel and another surfer, Jim Burton, were enjoying the water when they noticed a man struggling to stay afloat. The man was caught in a riptide and Fassel and Burton jumped into action. The two swam over to the man and by the time they reached him his eyes were “rolling into the back of his head” said Fassel. He went on to estimate another 20-30 seconds and he thought the man may have gone under completely.

Fassel and Burton struggled with the man, who spoke no english, to calm him and eventually help him onto a surfboard. They helped him toward shore as Manhattan Beach lifeguards arrived and helped the trio back to shore. Once back on solid land a team of paramedics took over the first aid procedures.

Unfortunately, they never were able to find out the mans name, but the two undoubtedly saved his life on what was scheduled to be Fassel’s last day in California before returning to St. Louis for the beginning of training camp.

Fassel is set to begin his fourth season with the Rams as 2015 begins to get underway. Last year Fassel lead the Rams to some spectacular special teams stats. St. Louis finished fifth in net punt average (41.8 yards), and second in punt return average at 13 yards. In 2013, Fassel lead the punt unit  to an NFL record 44.2 yard net punt average.

Find everything you need to know about the upcoming training camp dates in our recent Ramblin’ Fan post.