Thursday, July 22, 2010

Guys, I am going.....

Last weekend I was at the Sacramento River with some great people, a few of whom are great swimmers as well. Everyone was having a stellar time since we had a tube that most of the swimmers took advantage of. I went about my regular routine, yes I do have a routine at the river. Stay in the shallows then go to the "deeper" end to play volleyball with everyone and then return to the shallow end and "attempt" to swim. Yes, you read correct. "Attempt". This island-born-and-raised girl does not know how to swim. So to be safe, I hang out in the shallows. My biggest mistake, I don't wear a life vest because its uncomfortable. Or should I say, I didn't wear a life vest 'til last weekend's incident.

So, I was doing the regular hanging out the "deep" ends, which is usually right up to my waist, and felt heavy waves coming along. Some jerk must have been going super vast in the slow, swimming zones. Well, first came one wave and I felt it pull me in. At this point I could still feel the bottom of the riverbed so I tried "swimming" upward. Another wave came rather quickly and pulled me in even deeper. At this point, I couldn't feel the "earth" below me, so I said to my dear friend and my sister... hey guys, I am going... Of course, not the best choice of words, but honestly I was going! They thought I meant, I was swimming. Now, I am going is quite vague so its totally not their fault.

Well, a few seconds later, I went under. It was then the swimmers with us realized, hey, she can't swim! I plunged under, came back up and looked at my friend Al straight in the eye. By this time he was already jumping in the water. Needless to say, he saved my life and today I have a new nick name. Quietest drownee.

According to my friends and family members, I am by far the quietest drowning person they have ever seen. I didn't panic, didn't scream and I defineitely didn't do the whole, oh someone save me, I'm drowning. According to an article on Yahoo, thats normal. I bet you didn't know that! The article said,
The Instinctive Drowning Response, a term coined by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people instinctively do to avoid suffocation when drowning. The responses to drowning are undramatic and surprisingly quiet.  Drownings are the leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 4. Even scarier is that in a small but significant percentage of kids' drownings, an adult will have watched the whole process, not having a clue what was happening. 
You can read the rest of the article here.  And, if you have children, I highly recommend you read it.

As for my knowledge on drowning, well, lets say I know first hand what it feels like and trust me, its not a good feeling. So, everyone, learn from my mistakes and wear a life jacket. Always. Even if you know how to swim.

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