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