jukai wrote: ↑
Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:13 am
Wow, scary ! So, how did you make it back to shore eventually ?
It's actually a really interesting story. It seems just so unlikely the sequence of events and coincidences
A few years prior to this incident, I had been in another sea, on a small sail boat with a friend, and at some point, it flipped over. At that moment, we were still having a good time, I was actually wearing a hat, and my main concern was that I don't lose the hat. We started trying to pull the boat and swim back to shore, and about a minute or two later, someone came up and hooked it up to tow it back to shore. I didn't even consider that maybe I should get back with them as well. And so we kept swimming back, the two of us.
After a couple more minutes of swimming I started feeling like I'm getting tired but not making much progress, and it's becoming more difficult to swim. At this point, as I guess happens with many people in similar situations I started panicking somewhat, and swimming faster, which only resulted in feeling much worse, very fast, and like I am very near the limit of my ability to stay afloat at all. I alerted the friend who was with me, but he didn't really know what to do with me, and so that went on for about one or two more minutes, I guess, but I felt like i'm beyond any physical capacity to hang on and that any moment now I will go under. It's quite a terrible experience. And then some lifeguard pulled me out.
One reason that things unfolded this way, was that I had some breathing issue, where I would get terribly sick under intense physical exercise; feel nauseous, unable to stand, throw up, etc. But if I pace myself, I can do physical activities for hours.
Anyway. Starting with the next day, I started going out for long swims, swimming slowly along the same boat as we went much farther into the sea and back, than that day I almost drowned, and so I learned that the worst thing a person can do in this situation is panic and especially for me, as I would quickly run out of air and get sick, and unable to continue.
We also had some talks after the fact where someone asked why didn't I just try to float on my back or something...
And so, a few years later, one early morning, I found myself awake at a very early hour and decided to go for a swim in the sea. I left my stuff next to some signpost and started walking in a straight line into the sea, until it got deep enough to swim. I had to walk more than I expected as it only got deeper very slowly. At that point I swam inward for only about a minute or so, and then headed back.
After swimming back for a few minutes, I noticed that I'm actually really far, and also way off to the left of where I left my things. At this moment I remembered a talk I had with a relative who told me about some article he read about how dangerous this particular sea is, with very strong undercurrents, that even very accomplished swimmers might have trouble swimming against. And what one should do is try to swim diagonally, and not straight back for the shore.
Now if not for these 2 experiences I described, the prior near drowning and the talk with the relative. At this point, just as the previous time, I would have let the panic take over, the adrenaline rush make me try to swim fast toward the shore and then in a few more minutes, totally exhaust myself, get sick, and it would all be over.
But as unlikely as it all seems to me, that I had these two separate prior experiences, because of which, I now knew not to panic, and instead of trying to swim back, just try to float, with a minimal effort at directing myself back, in a diagonal to the beach.
At some point I tried screaming for help, to people I could see walking on the shore, but they couldn't see or hear me... So I thought it was all over, and even wondered at some point, if I should try to just get it over with, but I didn't really see how I could painlessly go about it, so I kept floating, and somehow, 20 or 30 minutes later I found myself still quite a way from the shore, but somewhere I could nearly reach the ground and stand.
After screaming and waving for help failed, and knowing that there were no lifeguards in that area, I was pretty convinced it was all over for me. And then I had some time to contemplate my imminent drowning.