Friday, May 27, 2011


My cousin Amelia posted a link on Facebook to this fascinating (and frightning) article about drowning which I think everyone should take the time to read. It reminded me of a incident in my childhood I thought I'd share.

Please note: I've described a person in this story as a 'carer'. It was an adult, but not either of my parents (and it wasn't Amelia either haha). I'm not writing this with a focus on the responsibilities of the carer, it's just an anecdote.

My memory of how it began is hazy- my sister Emily and I were between 8-12 years old (there's a two year age gap between us), were swimming in the sea not terribly far from the shore, and one of us had a boogie board. I can't remember whether she called to me or vice versa, but one of us swam to the other, and I soon realised we were in a rip, where the water was pulling us out from the shore. I remember she freaked out when I told her that.

I remember we were screaming for help, clinging to the board, and trying to kick back to the shore. The water was only just too deep- I think if I'd stood in the same depth of still water, the top my head would be above the surface, because I remember sinking and bouncing up from the sand with my feet when I stopped kicking for a moment. With hindsight (and after reading that article) I'm entirely confident we would have drowned if not for the board to keep us afloat. We were terrified, and our instinct was to fight the rip- without the board we would have exhausted ourselves very, very quickly.

I know we were screaming as loud as we could, and no one heard us for a period of time- couldn't tell you how long now. As a short-sighted glasses wearer I couldn't make out much on the beach, and I remember Emily telling me that no one was looking.

I don't remember now whether our carer eventually heard us or saw us, but they realised we were in trouble and thanks to their added height were able to walk to us and pull us in. But I remember their face as they felt the strength of the current and realised it was a rip.

It's a funny sort of memory really, because it's probably the closest I've been to dying, but at the same time thanks to the board, we were probably quite some time away from serious danger.

Have you any similar stories?


JelenaDoll ~ said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wow that must of been scary. When i was younger i would always go pretty far from the shore, but i never had a near death experience. I only got drifted to the left more but i kept swimming to the right and pushed myself so not much happened to me. Thanks for sharing =]

Erin Dawn said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thank you for posting this! I'm getting my son into swimming and that's always a fear in the back of my head. My mom almost drowned at age 3 and I almost drowned at 11. Scary stuff.

I V Y said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

woah. this is intense. great post nonetheless.


Briana Teresa said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

gosh thanks for the heads up! I never knew how subtle drowning could be. Thank you.

And I'm glad you and your sister made it out of the current okay. So scary!

Miss Kait said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

How terrfiying!!
I am so glad you posted this right in time for summer. Such an interesting article. It pointed out a lot of things I never would have thought of.