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Monday, July 14, 2014

On Nearly Drowning...

I love the beach, the sound of crashing waves, the smell of the salt water, the balmy breeze and the therapeutic feel of sand under my feet. But as much as I love the sea, I have a phobia for going into the deeper waters after encountering a near-drowning experience when I was 12 years-old, 40 years ago.

I was wading in the water together with my cousins, knee-deep one second, waist-deep the next and before I knew it, I was swept away and tumbled like a rag doll in the merciless waves. No matter how hard I swam, I was pulled farther and farther out to sea. The rest is a painful blur.... I remember the burning sting of salt in my eyes and nose....the bursting pain in my chest...a sense of helplessness going down, down, down .....the crippling fear.....thinking, so this is it, this is how it ends... praying hard......then....a strange sense of calm... surrender...

Suddenly, a head bobbed in front of me. It was cousin Li. I grabbed and clung desperately onto him. I don't remember what happened next. Everything seemed so hazy. But I do recall Li yelling furiously at me when we somehow reached the shore. He raved maniacally on and on about how I nearly drowned him when he was grabbed from behind and dragged under. I remember bursting into tears, trembling - not from his fury or the cold but from the shock of what had just happened. Miraculously, cousin Li who was only a year older than I and hardly a strong swimmer, had unwittingly saved my life.

Beached-themed cookies
Drowning is surely, a painful and horrifying way to go.

Have you ever almost drowned?


  1. I have not, but I have had to struggle out of the water where it was fighting to take control (and I was a child too). No fun at all.

    Hurrah that your cousin was there to help!

  2. Such cute cookies! What a scary experience! So thankful your cousin had the strength to save you and himself! No I haven't drowned, but I'm like you, I like the beach, but because I'm not a strong swimmer, I have never gone further than ankle deep in it.


  3. That is scary.. i vaguely remember being pushed into the pool by some rowdy kids when I was only a few years old.. but I was too young to remember..

    on the happier note.. those cookies are adorable.

  4. Oh my, how terrifying!!!

    When I was 9, I started a new school. My Mom was trying to help me make friends and invited one of my classmates over to swim in our above ground pool. For some reason, this girl shoved me underwater and held me under as she circled the pool. I thrashed and hit her and tried to get up, but she held me under and laughed the whole time! Needless to say, we didn't become friends.

  5. Such a scary memory. I haven't but I am proud to say that I have saved a few people from drowning. Cute cookies xo

  6. Oh my goodness! It's so great someone noticed you needed help!

    I never almost drowned. My sister just told me about my nephew Elijah having to be saved by a lifeguard though. He went swimming with a friend. Somehow he jumped in deeper than he could handle, and kept sinking. A lifeguard jumped in and saved him.

  7. Oh geez! What a traumatizing experience that must have been. Good thing your cousin was there.

  8. Veronica, this is almost identical to what happened to me except it was my brother who saved me. It was absolutely terrifying! I'm glad we both had family looking out for us.

  9. Scary story!! I'm sorry you had to go through that, Veronica!

  10. I started being swept away with a current once. Scariest thing ever. We underestimate the unpredictability of the sea, I think.

  11. EEEEEKKKK!!!! I am so sorry you had to experience that. :( It's so scary. I HATE the water... but mostly I HATE ocean water... because of stories like this. I once had to jump in that ocean water to grab my friend's son. And let me tell you, it was the scariest experience EVER. I am NOT a strong swimmer. Afterwards I kept thinking, what the heck was I thinking?! I could've drowned too! In the end, I lost a pair of sunglasses, got completely wet in my regular clothes, and the wave wash him toward us.. so I didn't save him at all! But it was scary no the less. For this reason, my children are in a year round swim program. My goal is -- they will save me! :) But i am normally found on the sand reading a book. I'm SOOO happy that you are safe.

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