Former Minnesota Wild prospect Kris Foucault once considered becoming a Canadian Coast Guard if his hockey career didn’t pan out. Even though this career alternative has not come to fruition yet while the 31-year-old continues to play professional hockey in Europe, he does swim to keep in shape and keep his coast guard aspirations alive.
“As hockey players, we do have to stay in tip-top shape,” Foucault told NHL.com. “For me, I’m a little bit of an older player — I’m 31 — staying in shape and being able to swim has kept my career going. I shout out my trainers for keeping me equipped for hockey and equipped for other situations as well.”
On May 10, years of preparation came in handy when he saved a six-year-old girl from drowning while he was vacationing with his family in Nassau, Bahamas.
Foucault went into more detail on exactly how the fateful afternoon unfolded, explaining how he noticed a strong rip current pull the young girl out into the water. Without hesitation, he went out after her and was able to bring both himself and her back to shore safely.
The left winger, who spent last season with the Iserlohn Roosters in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL), the top pro league in Germany, reached the girl, but feared it might be too late. She was unconscious, her lips were blue and there were brown and white fluids leaking from her mouth and nose.
“As I got through the wave, I saw her lifeless body floating on the top about 50 feet in front of me,” he said. “I actually thought I was just recovering a body.”
Once Foucault reached the shore, he put the young girl down and a lifeguard flipped her on her side where she threw up fluids. Once CPR was performed, the girl regained consciousness and cried in her mother’s arms. She was taken to a hospital, but Foucault has not heard from her since.
“I missed a bit of what happened when we got to shore because I kind of just laid down,” Foucault said. “I was out of breath and needed a bit of a rest.”
For Foucault, who was selected by the Minnesota Wild in the fourth round, 103rd overall in the 2009 NHL Draft, hockey applies to all sorts of situations in life, including this one.
“It’s the team aspect of hockey,” he said. “If your teammate is in trouble, you try to help. [On Cabbage Beach], someone was in trouble and I thought I could help.”
Foucault has played just once in the NHL, donning the Wild’s sweater against the Anaheim Ducks on Feb. 14, 2012. Since then, he’s played in Europe, and has recorded 12 goals and 28 points in 24 games for Iserlohn this season before sustaining an upper-body injury. He underwent surgery in March to repair a labral tear and had just returned to swimming a week prior out of caution for his shoulder.
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