Thursday, April 30, 2009

"If I let go, I'm going to drown!"

This is the conclusion of the post titled "I have Aquaphobia, a Theme Thursday post"

It was a bright sunny summer day back in 2004.
We were having a great time in Sur, Oman, visiting my dad. We went to the Turtle beach early in the morning and saw sea turtles laying eggs, dozens of tiny baby turtles, we also rode on camels, rode ATV's and went up and down the sand dunes.

Off on a speedboat along the coastline of the Gulf, we were being stupid adventurous and accepted an invitation to ride on the banana boat... with no life vests.
"...since I was going on a floating device, I wasn't so worried..."
I asked them to be careful and not go too fast because I wasn't a very strong swimmer. At the time, I had learned how to swim short distances, but I've never been in open water before without a life vest. They reassured me that they would be careful, and since I was going to be on a floating device, I wasn't so worried. It was my first time to go on a banana boat. I didn't realize it was going to be like that...

The banana boat was big enough for only 2 people. My dad and I boarded, and the speedboat started pulling us. It was great! Exhilirating! Exciting! I was even cheering and howling while holding on tightly to both side grips of the banana boat...

And then it happened: the speedboat revved-up, and with the change in speed, the banana boat tilted, then turned on its side. My dad let go instantaneously (which was the proper thing to do), but I didn't. The turn made me lose my grip on my right hand, so I was holding on to the banana boat with just my left hand.

The speedboat was still running and I was being dragged over the water, my left hand holding tightly on to the banana boat for dear life. My arms and legs were flying all over the place (which my sister later described as like watching a rag doll). But I had no feeling in my body other than my left hand. And I had no other thoughts just, "don't let go...don't let go or you'll drown! DON'T LET GO!"

I managed to hold on until they slowed down and pulled me in. I even managed to laugh and say I was fine after the fact. But for a while after that I was seriously scared of the open water.

The lesson folks: Don't be crazy, wear a life vest.

Have you ever almost drowned or had a "near miss"?

We actually have this on videocam, but when I fell off the banana boat and was being dragged over the water, my sister who was holding the cam forgot all about shooting so all you see is the floor of the boat. :p


  1. need to put the video up! great story~

  2. Have you been back in the water since this experience? You and water don't seem to mix well.

  3. Hi! Reyjr,
    See my comment under Part I......I must admit that both water related stories are "scary" and all I can say is thank goodness, that you are okay!...and yes, I will "heed" your advice when it comes to wearing a life vest whenever, I venture near water.

    Deedee ;-D

  4. @Brian - it's still in V8 format. lol! (ancient times..)

    @Dakota Bear - yes i have! I finally taught myself how to swim! :D

    @Deedee - always always wear a lifevest!

  5. That is terrifying!!!! Yoiks.

  6. What a scary story! My only near-death experience was on a boat as well. but not nearly as exciting as yours! (Isn't watching turtles hatch a cool experience?!)

  7. Okay, scary part 2! Sheesh, glad you were okay after all was said and done. And yeah, wear the life vest!

  8. I'm surprised you had any arms and legs left.

  9. Well when I was 6 and learning how to swim I nearly drowned but my swimming teacher dove and saved me :) I always remember that and laugh now. Never been afraid of water...

    Take care

  10. These were both great stories, but I don't know what a banana boat is so I was having a hard time visualizing that.


  11. Hi Leah - yes it was. lol! it was one of those my-life-flashed-before-my-eyes moment.

    JGH - Nice to meet you! Yeah, watching turtles hatch is very cool. :D :D

    Wings - hello! yes, dnt forget!

    Ronda Laveen - hmm, i still have 1..2.. legs. and 1... where's my other arm!??? oops, im using it to count. :p

    Marianna - good that someone dove in and saved you!

    Poetikat - lol! google it! :D

  12. Wow 2 bad water experiences! I almost drowned as well but it didn't cause me to be frightened of watching Jaws sure scared the crap out of me I was scared to be swimming in a fresh water lake! Great movie!

  13. Years after my scary water experience I'm OK in the pool, but I still get nervous in open water, so I know how you feel!

  14. Yes, an aquaphobia would be totally expected in your situation. I bet the person that pushed you in pool felt really, really stupid. Did they appologize?

  15. Oh poppet. What a shock to the system. I turned hobicat upside down once and even though I'm quite a good swimmer, diving under the boat to retrieve the rope that would right us was scary as hell! I'm still nervous of ocean swimming. Shame about the video!

  16. i can totally relate to your fear of water. i had a near drowning experience when our boat tipped over. really scary but i managed to survive. Getting over it took time, up to this moment going to open seas scare me a bit, i always hold on to a life vest ... but we need to learn how to master our fear or else we might miss all the fun :)

  17. Im not surprised you dont like water!
    did you ever find out who pushed you in?

  18. @ Colette Amelia - Jaws was great! :D Even the music was scary! haha!

    @ Kitty - It IS scary isn't it? :D

    @ DineometerDeb - I don't remember if he apologized hmmm.. He probably did.

    @ Baino - ocean swimming makes me nervous too. but also because there might be sharks! :p

    @ shykulasa - i agree! fun and scary is exhilirating. haha!

    @ tony - haha. I did. but let's keep him under a pseudonym, just call him "A.A." hahaha!

  19. This is a great but scary story, Rey. I'm glad nakitsismis ako sa archives mo. ",) If you combine the two in one article you can submit it to Jen's next edition of the inspirational book. Sa tingin ko lang naman. ",)

  20. Are you psychic or something? =-O
    Ms. Jena chose this one as well. Umabot pa po sa deadline ng Inspirational Book nya. :-D

    Recent blog:=- Vice Presidential candidate Mar Roxas' (Royal) Family Tree

  21. Hello,
    I hope you don't mind me messaging you. My name is Charlie and I am a Researcher at a UK based television production company called Betty. I am working on a brand new series with Bear Grylls for Discovery International which will follow Bear and several unlikely survival companions overcome huge hurdles in the wild and try to conquer their fear or phobias head on, So I am currently looking for people who suffer from aquaphobia and I wondered if this is something you may be interested in as I noticed you have mentioned this story about your fear for open water,

    Unlike Bear’s solo adventures, this series explores the
    dynamics between Bear and his travel companions, and the challenges they have to endure together. Each episode will aim to achieve the impossible, and hopefully change someone’s life for the better through determination and courage.

    Therefore if this sounds like something you would like to be
    a part of then it would be great to hear from you, you can email me at

    Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you,

  22. this is our flyer as well: