Fi, me and a rip current... ( a little long)
Posted 03 September 2008 - 10:10 AM
Terry and I are beach lovers and have spent days throughout our courtship by the sea. (a deciding factor in having a dw) We both grew up on long Island and while Terry is an experienced swimmer I would just call myself average. I have a deep fear of the ocean but mostly becuase of sharks and marinelife, (i know it's sillly) but I have overcome it enough to swim in the waters of central/south america and the caribbean.
It was labor day and the water was crowded and a tiny bit rough but nothing I would have deemed as abnormal. We were a little more than halfway in the water on monday when we got caught in a rip current that took us more than 200 feet out. I know not to swim against it but I couldn't even swim out of it. We were later told the current was shifting. Terry was close and he talked me through it as I tried to control my level of panic with each wave that toppled over us. He was in earshot and coached me through the most terrifying experience of my life. He was so focused on getting me out that he actually had a panic induced asthma attack becuase we was so concerned about me. Even when we were pulled out and he had an oxygen mask he was searching fo me and wanted to see me be okay when he was in worse shape than me.
My first instinct was to panic and swim but we had been in the water for some time now and I was beginning to get tired. We both were actually. He was expending too much energy on yelling to me becuase he was further inland. When the first lifeguard came out just as I was about to grab on to the can we got hit by a HUGE wave that pulled me out further. I hit the floor twice with that one and was a little disoriented but thankfully got my bearings enough to see that there was another guard swiming like mad to get me. This was also when the tears started coming. I tried not to cry and just talked myself through it but when I heard myself yell out " i need help" it made it really REAL. Something about hearing your voice be so small against the vastness of the ocean is scary. I had been completetly silent up until this point but I began to feel exhaustion in my arms and I was beginning to feel my heart racing. I thought of slow yoga breathing which helped a lot. What threw me over the edge was that I could see that Terry was gasping for air from afar. Once the guard was swimming me back he told me to hold on becasue there was a really big wave coming. I held on with all my might and got tossed like a leaf by that one and he came out again to get me. Finally... he got me closer to shore and when I was able to see Terry I was able to coach him and try and callm him down until they got him on oxygen.
The whole thing was very dramatic and they had a jeep come on the beach and come get us, and they gotten everyone out of the water. I was shaking like a leaf. Why am I writing about this on here? To share my experience mainly but also to share what saved me in what was really a life or death situation.
Most of use on here are getting married on a beach and even though rip currents are not super common in the carribbean it's something to be aware of in the future. The main reason people die in rip currents is because they panic and swim against the current eventually getting too tired and drowning.
NEVER SWIM TOWARDS SHORE TRYING TO GET OUT.
SWIM PARALLEL TO THE BEACH OR TREAD WATER UNTIL SOMEONE COMES TO GET YOU.
DO NOT PANIC.
TRY NOT TO SWALLOW TOO MUCH WATER.
There was a clear moment when I had a feeling of calmness just take over. Call it an angel, call it years of practicing yoga- i have no clue but somehow I remained calm. I am so greatful. I think I also remained calm becuase Terry was there but I also had a moment of "this can't be how I die", "We have a wedding, we have a life together", " My life is wonderful". The whole thing was very surreal and I would say life altering in a way. I have never been in that much of a life and death situation and I hope to never again. I am still processing it.
T and I have been in shock and talked about it a lot. Our relationship is already so solid and strong but this was a real test of what a great team we are and how we were really able to come through for each other out in the ocean. I thought it was impossible, but somehow I love him even more!
Posted 03 September 2008 - 10:32 AM
Posted 03 September 2008 - 10:45 AM
I'd heard on the news that they weren't letting people in the water, but I didn't realize that they had also had to go in and get people out.
I'm SO glad you guys are okay!!!
Happily married since 2008
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Posted 03 September 2008 - 11:26 AM
The ocean is a very fun and dangerous place.
I am an avid ocean lover, scuba diver, swimmer, etc. but I never forget my place with the ocean, it is the master and I am merely it's slave.
Posted 03 September 2008 - 09:10 PM
I'm so glad you two are ok and that you were able to work together in such a great way that brought you even closer together. That's really important. I'm glad it all turned out ok.
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