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  • #3513
    elijah
    elijah
    Prepper
    member6

    My own experience was that I almost drowned while swimming at the beach.

    I was at Broadbeach at Surfer’s Paradise in Australia. The waves looked nice and I fancied a swim. I should say here I do know how to swim, and had been going to the beach all my life. There was a life saver’s club house where I chose to go into the water, and I could hear the activity of the people inside from where I was, directly in front of it. There were no other people on the beach.

    I was fine in the water and was jumping waves and having a grand time; what I didn’t realise was with each jump I was being carried a little further out from the shore, until I ventured just a little too far out and found the sand bottom dropped away and I was treading water.

    Ordinarily I would just swim back in until I could stand on the sand again, but I found either the tide was on its way out or there was an undertow, and it was stronger than my ability to swim back in; every time I tried to swim a little closer in, the current would sweep me out again. By this time I was hoping the life savers might notice I was in difficulty, but I don’t think they were watching.

    I soon became exhausted and felt I was about at the stage where I couldn’t keep my head above the water, and I was being swept further out from shore.

    The only thing that saved the situation was that with the little energy I had left I tried to swim a few strokes with any incoming wave that came along, and keep still and didn’t waste my energy when the current went the other way between each wave.

    I kept this up, though I was exhausted, until I felt my left big toe just touching the sand. With desperation I tried to pull on that for as much traction as I could get. Another wave brought me in a little more and I could put one foot on the sand, and then another, The water level while standing was just below my nose, so I was bobbing up and down a little and still vulnerable to the outward sweep of the current. I was desperate to not lose what little I had gained. I would try to stroke a little with each incoming wave, which took me in towards the shore a little more, until I could keep my head above the water while standing on the sea bottom.

    I don’t recall ever having felt as bone weary as I felt that afternoon in that water, but I still had to work at working my way forward to get the the shore, while the current was still trying to push me the other way. Eventually I got in far enough that I could stand and walk, but I was so very tired that I wanted to just stop and lie down, but of course I had to keep walking, and try not to get knoecked over by the waves coming in behind me.

    When I eventually got to the shore I collapsed and threw up (I think because I had swallowed a lot of water out there trying to keep my head above the water). A couple walking by looked at me with disgust and kept going. I had to rest lying down for quite a time before I could move again. The sound of festivities in the life saver building suggested they were having a grand time in there.

    Eventually I recovered enough to stand and, having nothing else I could do and no-one to help me, I left and went home.

    My lessons:
    1. Don’t go out of your depth, even if you can swim, if there is a current involved;
    2. Don’t rely upon someone looking out for you;
    3. Wear a whistle; it may not be heard but it can’t hurt to have it and it might do some good;
    4. Try to be aware of what is going on around you.
    5. Everyone says to keep your head and don’t panic, but I can tell you that’s a great theory but very hard to do when you think you’re going to die. I did keep my head, but it was very hard going.

    Bugs Bunny: "I speak softly, but I carry a big stick."
    Yosemite Sam: "Oh yeah? Well I speak LOUD! and I carry a BIGGER stick! and I use it, too!" BAM!

    #3516
    Gypsy Wanderer Husky
    Gypsy Wanderer Husky
    Survivalist
    exprepper

    Thank you Elijah. Survival can come in many different ways. Its funny where I live I am surrounded by water and 2500 people live on this Island. Every summer when taking my kids swimming I find out just how many cant swim. And your right relying on someone to save you isn’t always gonna happen. Your very lucky sir, and I commend you for not giving up!!

    Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.
    George S. Patton

    #3545
    Selco
    Selco
    Survivalist
    member6

    Thanks for sharing this Elijah, it was close, but it looks like you learn some good lessons from it.

    #3554
    anika
    anika
    Survivalist
    rreallife

    Wow, this story gave me chills – think how many people throughout history had the same start, but didn’t live to tell the end. I am really glad you made it through okay, and thanks for sharing the lessons you learned!

    #3736
    Profile photo of tweva
    tweva
    Survivalist
    rreallife

    Elijah – thank goodness right! Have always had a very healthy respect for water although I consider myself a good swimmer. For all the years I spent competing in swimming pools from a young age, the power of the oceans and rivers still leaves me in awe and feeling small.

    Yes, it is a good theory to keep your head in an emergency. And, one always like to think you can handle certain things -‘but of course’. One time I was so shocked by something happening I could swear I was screaming my head off very loudly and why did nobody hear? Turns out I was screaming loudly in my head but the voice box was very mute! When adrenalin gets going in the body it is something else.

    I’m glad you are okay. Thanks for sharing that. Your lessons for others from it are great. Hope they are remembered.

    #3817
    Jay
    Jay
    Survivalist
    member3

    Thanks for sharing this. I love the idea of wearing a whistle for swimming. I lived for two years in Byron Bay and know the beaches at Surfers Paradise as well. Unfortunately people get swept out along this stretch of Australia all the time. I sent you the real life experience achievement.

    Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")

    #4322
    elijah
    elijah
    Prepper
    member6

    Thank you to everyone who wrote supportive things to me. I appreciate the input even though my story wasn’t a shtf disaster.

    I will add one thing I forgot to put in the original post and one thing I was hesitant to write, but they are important points:
    The experience taught me that drowning is a terrible way to die. I literally only just escaped drowning and I believe another few seconds and I wouldn’t have been able to stop it from happening. The years have faded some of the details now but I do remember the indescribable terror I felt that I can’t put into words. It was a choking, painful, utterly exhausting experience and I knew that despite all my best efforts and the fact I desperately wanted to live, I was going to die, and die alone. What’s more, nobody would even know what had become of me (unless my body were to wash ashore somewhere) because nobody knew I was at that beach.

    I know there are those who are contemptuous of religious stuff so they may want to pass over this next bit, but I believe it was my silent crying out to Christ for help is the only thing that saved me that day. Some may believe it was happenstance that got me ashore, but I’ll give the credit and the glory to Christ without hesitation.

    Bugs Bunny: "I speak softly, but I carry a big stick."
    Yosemite Sam: "Oh yeah? Well I speak LOUD! and I carry a BIGGER stick! and I use it, too!" BAM!

    #4463
    Hannah
    Hannah
    Survivalist
    member6

    Elijah,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story.
    Also, thank you for the suggestion of wearing a whistle. Since I live in Charleston, SC about 5 minutes from the beach I will be wearing one anytime I go with family from now on. That is priceless lifesaving advice!
    Glad you made it out of the water. It sounds like you had the will to survive, as well as the physical strength.
    Hannah

    #5256
    Profile photo of libbylindy
    libbylindy
    Survivalist
    member4

    Elijah, thanks for this story – and it IS a SHTF story. Any time you are in a crisis situation and you don’t know if you can survive it or not, it puts you right in the middle of it, just as if you found yourself in any other situation. It was SHTF for YOU. Absolutely. I am glad you added that last comment about your call out to Christ to save you. Since you called on the most powerful source available, He saw you through it. When it happens to you, you know who is responsible for the help given. Good life story, Elijah. I am afraid of water anyway, so it just strikes terror through my entire being to think of what you must have experienced. I feel that same way when I am in a swimming pool and can’t touch the bottom! Go figure!

    #13356
    elijah
    elijah
    Prepper
    member6

    Thank you, Libby.

    Bugs Bunny: "I speak softly, but I carry a big stick."
    Yosemite Sam: "Oh yeah? Well I speak LOUD! and I carry a BIGGER stick! and I use it, too!" BAM!

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