Thursday, August 1, 2013

My Close Call...




While vacationing on the Gulf Coast last week I had the scariest moment of my life. I was caught in a rip current and dragged very far from shore. I didn’t even realize it until it had already pulled me out pretty far. It’s amazing how fast it can happen. I was able to get the attention of Lisa, who was on the beach. She ran to a beach-goer and had him call 911. She then risked her life by swimming all the way out to me and pulled me in (luckily she was on the swim team in high school). I still can’t believe she did that…but I’m damn thankful that she did.

As we got closer to shore, a total random stranger came out and pulled both of us the rest of the way in. Lisa said that when she felt her toes touch the ocean floor again (meaning we'd made it most of the way back in) that she felt more relieved than she'd ever felt in her life.

There were also strangers on the beach greeting us as we came back in, offering water, etc. The first responders had shown up by that time as well and were verifying that we were ok. We were so thankful to be alive and we were hugging random people lol.

The stranger who swam out to help us the rest of the way in had disappeared pretty quickly before we really had much of a chance to thank her. We were pretty numb and still in a bit of shock. We did get to hug her before she left though. I'll always wonder who she was and I hope she knows we're eternally thankful. Just as I am eternally thankful to Lisa for risking her life for me.

This was my first truly close call with death...where I actually thought to myself "I might die here and now". Definitely an eye-opening experience. Have you ever had a close call?

164 comments:

  1. Whoa! That was a close call. Rip currents are dangerous. What a blessing Lisa and that stranger were able to help you. I can't say I've a brush with death that close.

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  2. I'm so glad you're okay! I can even imagine how scary that must have been...

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  3. OMG! That was very close!! Lisa is just like a hero, she helped and risk her own life without any hesitation, and to the stranger who helped you also very nice gesture. I never experience something like that, that is so scary! Glad your doing OK.:)

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  4. The ocean is amazing, isn't it? Wow. Welcome back! ~

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  5. Very frightening, Keith. I have never had that kind of close call, but I know how powerful the ocean is and have feared that kind of thing. After an experience like that, I think, one values life even more!

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  6. That's awful and amazing at the same time! God bless, Lisa - what a gal! Stick to paddling in future....*ahem*

    ......my close call came when I suffered pain misdiagnosis - a fallopian tube filled with blood near burst and I needed emergency surgery. A junior doctor saved my life.

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  7. Wow amazing story, very brave! Glad you guys are ok!! I've never had a close call like that, thankfully.

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  8. That is so scary and Lisa is an incredibly brave woman!!! Living in a beach community I hear about people getting caught in rip currents all the time, which is why I rarely go in the ocean. Oh yea, and there's fish and sharks too.

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  9. very glad to hear that it all turned out, and everybody was saved. It could have been so much worse, as you are aware, Lisa is a brave brave girl.

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  10. So glad to have you back thanks to the heroic Lisa. I haven't had a close call, except when I was about 3 and swalowed a bottle of aspirin because it tasted good.

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  11. It was pretty awesome of Lisa to come out and get you like that and I'm glad that your close call was just that, a close call. I've never really been in a situation where I've thought "holy shit I almost died" but I do stay out of the ocean for fear of being sucked out into the sea. I can't swim. Even if I could the sea is a harsh and cruel mistress.

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  12. When I was in the navy, I was almost swept overboard during a storm. I was very fortunate to be holding onto a stanchion when the wave came over and hit me, knocking me down. That's when I realized how powerful the sea is and how close I came to probably drowning at sea.

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  13. Oh I am so glad you are OK thank goodness for your Lisa and the other wonderful strangers who came to your rescue. I can only imagine how frightened you must have been.
    I have had a few close calls mostly with cattle, it is a eye opening moment and makes you think differently. Take care I am so happy you are OK and back. B

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  14. You are one alive, lucky duck. I lived on the edge of the ocean for 25 years. Once the rip tide takes you out, swim parallel with the shore and you'll be able to get back to shore. Keeping the panic away is the impossible, as you now know. I am truly, truly, truly happy you are safe and writing. It's surprising how close bloggers get.
    Lisa is a special person.

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  15. When my husband and I were in Hawaii, he got caught in a rip current and carried very far out to sea. What's scary is he was off by himself, he had to make his own way back to shore. Luckily, he did but he said it was the scariest thing that had ever happened to him and he hadn't been sure he was going to make it back to shore. Very scary. I'm glad you are ok :)

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  16. Wow! So glad you are both ok!

    I've never had a true run-in with death, but I have had my life flash before my eyes in the past due to fear.

    Catherine

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  17. Whew! Glad you're okay! It obviously wasn't your time yet. :)

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  18. I am so glad that you are both ok!!! How scary!! And yes, I have -- let's just put it this way, I have been sober for 24 years, and that should explain a lot :)

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  19. dude...scary stuff...i am glad you are ok....glad that Lisa...and the stranger were there to help....

    i have had a few...since we are talking beach....i was out swimming with my wife and 6 month old....at a beach where it was only chest deep at 30-40 yards out...and then 2 fins came up headed straight for us...i thought we were dead...shark meal...

    turned out to be dolphins...and they swam with us...but it was scary....

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  20. Glad you made it out! Ocean is pretty powerful. Your number was not "up"! Yes, I have had several close calls but it is the ones I do not know about that are most interesting. Remember it you can hear the bullet you are pretty safe.

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  21. A close call indeed! And a strenuous test of the buddy-system. My compliments to your heroes!

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    1. Yeah, good thing Mrs. Tarzan was at the same beach.

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  22. I know all too well what you went through. The same thing happened to me in Maui.
    It is the most frightening thing ever! The panic!
    I'm so relieved that you had Lisa, hero, to help you. Wow! Close call, indeed.
    Welcome home.

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  23. Wow, that was a close call. Glad all are alright

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  24. Phew - that was close! Glad to hear you're okay.

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  25. The closest I ever came to death was when I fell asleep at the wheel while coming home from North Carolina after midnight once (33 years ago...good golly). I woke up to see my headlights alternating between road, treeline, road, other treeline, road, back to the treeline, then upside down in a ditch. My car was totaled, but none of us were hurt. Incidentally, none of us were wearing seatbelts, either. Lucky, lucky.
    P.S. I know you're probably wondering....yes, drinking WAS involved.
    There was also this time when I told Mrs. Penwasser #1, "Yes, as a matter of fact, those jeans DO make your butt look big."

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  26. I am so glad you and Lisa made it.
    What a terrifying thing. I'm so glad to have you back.

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  27. Oh my! I'm glad Lisa could hear/see you!!! I couldn't imagine what you were feeling, and wow how relieved you were afterwards! What a close call. Lisa must have been a great swimmer. Were you coughing up water when you got back? It's too bad that the one person walked off the scene before you could thank them. I'm sure they feel great that they could help you.

    I just read an article that people can die of drowning later in the day; when they aren't even in the water. During swimming time water gets trapped into their lungs. They are normal. They just appear sleepy. They aspirate, while they are laying down, and die. Scary stuff!

    The closest I came to death was was in 5th grade. I had only been on a bike with peddle breaks. I was borrowing my sister's bike that had handle breaks. One of my friends said, "Just go down the hill. That's how my Mom learned." So I did, but I could reach the breaks. It was a busy street below. I had no time to think. If it were to happen where I did have time to think, I would have turned, and gone up the hill to have a softer stop. I thought the grass would stop me, so I went on it. My sister's bike drove off the retaining wall. The bike landed vertically. My chin scraped the concrete. I just had to get stitches, but I could have snapped my neck.

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  28. Oh, Keith, that must have been so scary. Thank God you are OK. And thank God for Lisa and the stranger.

    I was in a car accident one time where I thought the car was going to roll. I thought to myself, well, this is it. I better just go with it. The car did not roll and I was OK.

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  29. I'm so glad that you were rescued. I've had several close calls, Once when I was young, I was caught in high tide after I fell asleep on the beach on the other side . I had gone by car and the people I got a ride with left me there and the tide came in and I had to swim alone to the other side. I could only dog paddle and the thing that saved me was that I knew how to float on my back and when I got tired of swimming I would float on my back until I made it to shore. Someone with an motor boat almost ran me over. I wonder why they didn't stopped to see if I was in trouble. I learned my lesson.

    The next time I was given a most likely death sentence with cancer in 2002.

    I'm glad you are back.
    JB

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  30. Your guardian angel was looking out for you, Keith! Thank goodness for Lisa and the bravery of the stranger. I'm glad you made it back safely.

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  31. So glad everything turned out ok and you are here to blog another day. When I was a child we holidayed on a houseboat on a river with a very strong current. I fell in whilst playing on the bank - my parents were inside. It was a fisherman further along the bank that spotted my shoes floating to the surface. He yelled for my father and they both dived in and rescued me. Needless to say it spoiled the holiday, we went home and never had a houseboat holiday again.

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  32. I've flipped in a vehicle on a mountain with a drop on one side and a mountain with road construction on the other. The vehicle was totalled, my husband, oldest son (who was a baby) and I were not. I'm still thankful we're okay 24 years later.

    And I'm thankful you and your girl are safe and sound too. Ocean currents can be scary stuff!

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  33. Keith, I haven't. My gosh, I am so grateful for Lisa and also deeply encouraged by the kindness of multiple strangers. Grateful to be reading this account and knowing that you're safe.

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  34. I have. And Praise God you are okay! That is really scary.

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  35. Let's see...hit by a car at 8, nearly drowned in Hawaii at 10, car rolled over a 50-ft embankment with 2 girlfriends at 16 (I wasn't the driver). I got a healthy respect for life very early on...

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  36. That must have been scary indeed. I've never had anything that close. There have been times if a second sooner something would have occurred i could be toast, but nothing in the moment.

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  37. This is amazing, Keith. Last week I dreamed of the ocean three times in one night. It was a nightmare. It swallowed me, it was awful. It must have been a kind of synchronicity. I even wrote about it. I can send you what I wrote if you are interested.
    Yes, I did but not in the sea. I was in ICU once.

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  38. Wow, that is scary! Thank goodness it all turned out well.

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  39. That sounds terrific but glad you both are safe. Congrats to Lisa on this rescue operation, she had done a bold and beautiful job saving her sweetheart dragging herself into danger.

    Take care

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  40. Glad to hear that you're okay. I've never had an experience like that, and I can't imagine the way you must feel in that situation.

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  41. So very thankful you are both OK!!!

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  42. Oh my goodness! I"m so thankful you both made it back- those are so dangerous! We live on the Gulf Coast, and we hear of far too many drownings each year that happen because of rip currents. Lisa is so brave!

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  43. Close calls like that tend to bring some focus on things doesn't it? I'm thankful for you life and obviously Someone upstairs agrees with that assessment!

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  44. I've had the same close call as you did. It was on a beach in Maui and it scared the daylight out of me.

    Have a terrific day and I'm glad you are okay. ☺

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  45. So glad your guardian angels were on hand.

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  46. well sheesh! Glad ya all are ok! How spooky! Thank goodness I haven't had a close call that I can think of! Maybe there were and I wasn't paying attention, that happens ya know! :) I do feel like I will die when I go on rides at the fair. he he :) Have a wonderful day!
    Cheri

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  47. Oh my goodness how scary that must have been. Sure glad it turned out they way it did. Thank God and Lisa and all the kind people who helped.
    I had a wave crash down on me and was tumbled and tumbled around at the bottom and thought I might drown when I was a kid.

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  48. That was frightening. Have I had a close call with death - I don't know if you would call it a "close call" - I was pretty much there - dead - it was oh so very pleasant and I didn't want to come back....

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  49. glad you were both okay! yikes!

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  50. I saw this on your facebook page earlier and I'm so relieved you are ok! I can't imagine how scary that must have been. That Lisa is a keeper, let me tell ya :)

    I have had one close call with death when I got in a car accident. I wasn't hurt, but my car was knocked into a grassy median between two highways and I was literally inches away from being pushed into oncoming traffic. Once I got out of my car and saw how close of a call it was I totally broke down and burst into tears. Luckily David was there to calm me down. It was horrifying but I was so relieved that we were both ok. It was at night which made it even more scary!

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  51. Very glad to hear you're back safely. The world (and the blogosphere) would be sadly diminished without you!

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  52. Wow, Keith! That is truly scary! Glad you made it back ok! I do love the beach, but open water scares me so much. You hear about these kinds of accidents quite frequently here (We have quite a few lakes and beaches that get rough at times). I've never had a close brush with death, thankfully, but just witnessed my little brothers brush last month. It's scary to think how quickly it could all be over!

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  53. I have had a few close calls... the worst though was when I ended up in the hospital last year. I needed emergency surgery but they couldn't even take me back until they gave me several blood transfusions... Like you, I just remember feeling overwhelmingly grateful, in my case to everyone who's ever donated blood. I have no idea who it was, but someone saved my life that day.

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  54. Holy cow. I've been afraid of the under-toad all my life.

    I'm glad you didn't drown.

    I myself once almost drowned, caught under a fallen tree on the Rum River (MN). When my father dragged me out by my haif (very long at the time) the innertube I was in popped up and shot down the swollen river. "Git it!" my dad hollered. "There's a five-dollar deposit on it!"

    Good times.

    Pearl

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  55. KEITH!!!!! Oh my goodness, how terrifying. I had a close call once when I was white water rafting. I got thrown out of the raft and went the rest of the way through the rapids all on my own. My helmet even got knocked off because I was so beat up. It was so insanely scary. I will never raft again and I have to say that my sense of adventure is kind of gone. I've also had two serious car accidents (neither my fault) and, in one of them, I thought for sure I wasn't going to make it. I still wish I knew the fireman who cut me out of the car ~ he is truly an angel. I'm so glad you're okay!!!!

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  56. How scary! That is amazing that people came out to help you, however they could. I've never been in a situation like that, but if I were, I would hope that people would do the same for me, as I would do for them.

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  57. I'm SO glad you and your friend were both ok, that is scary and a close call indeed. I've swam in the ocean and can relate to that feeling although I never actually experienced what happened to you.

    close calls, I've had a few actually. a couple of times I was starting to cross a street and was "pulled back" by an unseen force that kept me from being hit by a car going much too fast and seemingly coming out of nowhere at the time. I know the angels are there for us. Maybe one helped you too. Your earth angel Lisa certainly did. :<)

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  58. Wow! Glad you are ok!!! So scary! I had a close call as well. I was hit by a car in a crosswalk. I don't remember anything, but I was told that I had died on the scene and had a Dr. not been at the red light, I wouldn't be here today. I had a traumatic brain injury and a long recovery. Glad to be here though! Life is precious and you never know. Value it every single day.

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  59. Yes, I got pinned under an automatic garage door, it started to close normally and then it snapped and was in free while I was under it. My life flashed before my eyes and I thought, so this is how it ends. I am grateful to be here and I will never forget that experience.
    I have been waiting to read your blog after you returned from vacation and I'm very glad you are here to tell your story. I'm glad you both made it.
    I am always amazed and grateful for the kindness and strength of strangers. Love and light to all of us!

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  60. What a truly horrendous experience Keith, thank goodness for good luck and good people. Lisa sounds just amazing. You were blessed.

    I had a close call when I was 6, dragged under by a wave, pulled along the sea floor and had that thought. This is it, I'm going to die. Thankfully, like you, I didn't. Makes you think though doesn't it.

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  61. I got hit by a car over 20 years ago while I was crossing the street so I did have a close call. I had a deep head injury but thankfully no concussion or breaks...just a lot of bruises and my head injury was stitched. Thank God you are O.K. I think it is neat that you hugged random strangers. :)

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  62. I am glad you are okay! What a blessing to have so many others help you out, particularly Lisa. So glad you came back to KY alive.

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  63. That's when I would have broken out my mad scuba diver skills and swum parallel to the shore until I could get out of the current.

    All jokes aside though, I can't recall physically being in a place where I thought I might actually die, other than childbirth. (Some of us have seriously traumatic deliveries.)

    I'm so grateful the right people were there, and that you're safe. It makes you realize how precious each moment is, eh?

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  64. I'm glad you are OK! I had a similar terrifying experience on the Columbia River...whew...it does make you thankful to be back safe and sound on solid ground!

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  65. That's a co-incidence as my mother was telling me yesterday about the time she and a friend were carried out in a rip and nearly drowned. Pleased you are here to tell us about your incident.

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  66. Keith, my heart was beating fast as I read this post, I felt your trauma and, relief in more ways than one. I had an almost similar experience many years ago on Australia's famous Gold Coast. I am so incredibly happy you are safe and well, (I would have missed your sweet email otherwise!) and yes I am totally fine, just having 'blog-block' and lots of family stuff happening. I suggest you just build sand-castles for a little while :)

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  67. omg....how scary!!!! I am so glad you are ok...these things happen and you very well could have been a statistic!!!

    Have been dealing with death this week also...very sad and yet..something about the reality of it makes a person kind of take on a humble grateful spirit.

    Glad you're back...get that day out of your mind!!!

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  68. I so thankful you, Lisa, and the stranger are all OK. That's very scary. I know about rip currents and what to do, but I think even knowing what to do that I would most likely panic and drown. The ocean has my eternal respect.

    Your photo is beautiful.

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  69. So glad you are safe! Lisa is one plucky lady.
    Take care.

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  70. Keith, my friend, your beloved Lisa, the interaction through adversity with total strangers is indeed another example of humanity at its finest.

    You are unscathed from such a situation. Yet, now my friend, you will see the world around you in an even more profound way.

    I had a near-death experience in hospital. I survived and I now realise it was a near-life experience.

    Gary

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  71. What a frightening experience! You will probably dream about it for years. I'm glad it all turned out well, but how uncertain it must have felt at the time. It's mysterious that the stranger vanished away so quickly. Someday this will be the seed of a story.

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  72. Oh I am SO glad this ended well and you are alright!!! Very scary! Yes, in my life I have had many close calls with death. All I can say is that God is watching over me!!! And maybe even sending an angel to watch me. I have been teaching on angels for the past month at church, whether we believe in personal guardian angels, there are several passages in the bible about this. God sends his angels to do many kinds of things, including watching over us!

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  73. Hey thanks for the visit! Glad to read the incident was just that... a close call. I don't know how to swim and to be honest I would have freaked out and drowned :(

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  74. Glad you both made it out ok. I've never had a close call like that.

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  75. Thank goodness you made it out of there safely! Thanks to Lisa's bravery and the help of concerned strangers.
    Rip tides are extremely dangerous. They were rampant on the beaches of Southern California when I lived there and I got caught in more than a few of them myself.

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  76. What a blessing tat all the people necessary to keep that from being tragic were there and cared enough to keep everyone safe.
    I have had too many narrow escapes but only had my life flash before my eyes once. Those events look much better in the rear view mirror.

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  77. Lisa was brave and so was the stranger helping you.

    That shows how some human beings can be so helpful and help one another.

    That is really risky, I have a bit fear of water and I don't go far when I go to water, it's like just my feet and that's almost it.

    As for close calls, had one but fortunately just a close call in 2010 when I was hit by a jeep while I was crossing a crossroad. Fortunately I made it, thought my memory was partially lost due to the head trauma and learned that I took everything for granted.

    P.S.: You and Lisa were brave! She seems like a nice person :)
    Take care my friend**

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  78. You were very lucky and so was Lisa. A 46 year old man drowned in the lake i live on last Sunday afternoon and they just recovered his body yesterday. :( My close call was with fire. it is along story and I will share on my blog some day.

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  79. I saw that you posted and I just had to post a comment before I go on blog hiatus for a couple of weeks.

    I am so grateful that you are okay after such a scary, scary experience... I have had a couple of near drownings and believe me I was so freaked out.. it was not long after that, that I actually learned how to swim... Take care of yourself Keith... I will be back to catch up with you soon:)

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  80. Oh, that must have been so scary. I think it's amazing how many people are willing to act - and thank goodness for that!

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  81. This happened to me once in Clearwater....literally the scariest moment because it feels like you cannot be helped! So glad you were blessed by wonderful people and are ok

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  82. She's a keeper ... and I'm glad you're OK. Sometimes something like this happens to show us what is and who is truly valuable in our life. :)

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  83. I'm sorry that happened to you. I can't imagine how hopeless and scared you must have felt. I only like swimming in land or in open beach area's where there aren't big waves as I panic quickly. I have always been afraid of the waves but especially became afraid when a family member use to throw me into them. I'm glad that great people were around to help you. The most terrifying time for me in the water was when I, my friend and my dad were out fishing 2-3 miles off of Miami in a deep blue sea. My friend and I decided to jump in the ocean (roughly 2-3 foot waves) with ropes tied to us. After about 5 minutes in the water my dad begin to freak and told us he had a bad feeling and insisted we needed to get back in the boat. I helped my friend get back in the boat (she didn't know to get back in boat as quickly as I could) and I began to panic. I felt like there was something else in the water with us. My father ended up dragging me back in the boat. About 5 seconds after that a 10 foot Hammerhead swam by the motor which was the same place I was climbing in. I was really, really spooked!!!

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  84. Yes, I've had several close calls. Once my heart even stopped beating. That'll get your attention!

    That's one special lady you have there.

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  85. Goodness, your guardian angel was definitely watching your back! The courage and selflessness Lisa and that stranger showed keep one's faith in humanity alive. This may well be one of those reminders to both appreciate those dear to us and embrace each day fully!

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  86. That is so scary, Keith! I am so glad that Lisa and that other woman were willing and able to go after you! I can't imagine how terrifying that would have been.

    There were two times that I thought I had close calls. When I was five the engine of the car that I was in started on fire and for some reason I froze and couldn't unbuckle my seatbelt or open the door. My dad went around the back of the car to come get me instead of crossing in front of the car, since that was the part that was on fire. I thought he was leaving me behind--I have no idea why because he would never, ever leave me (or anyone) in a burning car--but that was the longest minute or so that I can remember. I seriously thought that he had left me behind and that I was going to burn up with the car and then after what felt like FOREVER he was by my side, opening the door and pulling me out.

    The second time was in Senegal and I was pretty sick one night. It was right after a cholera outbreak started and I couldn't take in water. The fan in my bedroom died and I was too weak to put up my mosquito net so I spent the night on the floor of my living room under the ceiling fan thinking that I was going to die of whatever illness I had, probably cholera. Turns out I had a stomach virus and became so dehydrated that my body was no longer absorbing water. They almost took me to the hospital, but luckily a pitcher of kool-aid with salt (in a day--ick!) spared me that visit.

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  87. Like I said on Facebook, Lisa loves you so much! I've never been dragged out by a rip tide, but boy have I been tossed hard by waves a few times. Scary! But I went back in. I love the waves to much I guess. I really haven't had any real close calls in my life. I've been lucky that way.

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  88. Thankfully I haven't. I guess it has you pondering life even more....

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  89. So glad you are okay! I had a similar experience many years ago. I was 16 or 17, visiting my older sister in Florida. We'd been wading around in the water and I went out, just a little bit, doing a bit of dog-paddling. All of a sudden, I realized I was really far away from my sister, and the beach. The more I tried to swim in, the more I got pulled out. I really panicked because I'm not much of a swimmer. I kept calling to my sister, but she couldn't hear me. Just as I was at the point of being terrified and thinking I was going to drown, somehow I started making it closer back to the beach, and could finally stand on my feet in the water. I've obviously not forgotten it, and I don't think I ever will. Hugs to you!

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  90. A relief to know that you are ok and doing fine. Take care my friend :-)

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  91. You're supposed to swim parallel to the shore and eventually you'll get out of the riptide.

    Still, pretty scary stuff.

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  92. I am so sorry, Keith...how scary!!! Thank goodness you are both ok!!!!! Not something you even want to think about while on vacation....
    Take care...
    - irina

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  93. A life changing moment, I'm sure, Keith! So glad this has a happy ending! I've had a few close calls. Too many. I did get caught in a rip tide once when I was 12. It was truly one of the most frightening things to be carried far from shore and it happens so quickly. I was a strong swimmer and swam out of it, but not before being slammed down to the ocean bottom by a big wave. I've never swam out too far in the ocean again. xo

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  94. Oh God, I shivered when I read this. I can totally understand the relief of feeling the ocean floor beneath your feet again. I'm glad there were so many people around to help you both.

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  95. All’s well that ends well.

    Will you take a bit more care next time?

    About six years ago a neighbour of mine was pulled out to see and never seen again. His body has simply vanished.

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  96. It is amazing how quickly our lives can change. I'm glad to hear both you and Lisa are safe!

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  97. Oh my gosh! I'm so glad you are okay. I actually don't know how to swim because I have a such a fear of water. I like being around it because its beautiful and peaceful but getting into if scares me. It's so how in situation like that, how strangers help out and become so compassionate. Again, I'm glad you are okay! Kudos to Lisa for being so brave!

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  98. Ohhh, shocking ! Lucky you ! please take more care !

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  99. Wow! It's like you had two guardian angels! So glad you are still alive to blog another day!!

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  100. Keith,

    I'm glad you made it safely back to shore. I've had two moments when I should have died, both were river related. Once when I was four. On the second occasion, two people died in the same river, on the same day.

    I'm thankful for the angels who watched over me.



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  101. That must have been very scary. I am glad that there was someone there to help you out.
    I never had a problem in any of the Oceans, but again I am chicken. I do not swim too far in. However I had a close call while driving in winter a couple of years ago. My car turned around completely facing the on coming traffic. Luckily for me, because of the snow there were not too many cars on the road. Phew - - .

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  102. Wow...what an experience...rip tides are the scariest of all, they take out even experienced swimmers. My friend's fiance died in one during an ocean swim! I cannot say that I have had a close call of that sort but certainly moments where I felt dying was better than living...was in a boat in a very bad storm crossing the english channel, and one during an ocean swim when fog rolled in and I was swimming around in circles...ugh...glad you are safe.

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  103. An amazing experience! Very glad it culminated in a safe recovery and the insights you most likely gained from your "near death" realization.

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  104. That was really close call glad that you are safe :)

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  105. Oh Keith! I'm so glad you are OK!!! What a loss the world would face without you and your beautiful words - and friendship! :O I'm betting you can't stop thanking God for your life! Good for you!!!

    PS. I did once wonder if I was about to die. My husband and I were in a car - spinning in circles, wildly over ice. There were huge trucks (one was a semi) on both sides of us, and I wondered how we could stop spinning without smashing with great force. In that brief moment I prayed a quick prayer for God to save us. And our car did stop - quite suddenly - right next to a cement wall and without touching another vehicle either. I truly believe in angels! ~ I'm thankful that your friend had the courage to be your angel! :) And who knows, she may have had an angel helping her as well! :)
    PPS. I know that feeling you get afterwards, of shaking inside, and needing to relax and feel normal again...
    Hugs from me to you,
    Corine :D

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  106. wow, keith, glad you're alright. it amazes how people reach out in times like that, people we normally never would have spoken to or had contact with.

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  107. So glad that you're fine...it must have stirred you emotinally...take rest for a while, and let your thoughts find their peace...
    I had a close call a few years earlier, when I was too close to get hit by a speeding millitary truck, but a friend of mine who might have seen me, yelled my name and I stopped then and there, and I didn't die :P

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  108. glad you're alright! my family's had loads of serious car accidents (not that we're awful drivers, they've been mostly other people's fault!), but i've always been so small that can't remember them well and therefore can't really say i know what it is like to experience something like that. x

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  109. I've not had a close call where I recognized the danger at the time. It was only in retrspect that I realized the danger I'd been in. And that I'd been watched over. Again, I'm glad that people and circumstances all came together (I don't believe in coincidences either) and you are here to tell the tale.

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  110. Never had anything like that, glad all turned out ok

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  111. Oh my! Well, my friend, I am so glad that you are okay!!

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  112. Rips and RIP - thats not a coincidence.

    We have a lot of public information here about Rips - the key (as far as I know) is to try to swim sideways - i.e. parallel to the beach, because you have no chance of swimming against it.

    Glad you are OK.

    Cheers - Stewart M

    PS; Many people still do climb Uluru, but the indigenous people of the area ask you not to. I have been 3 times, but decided not to climb.

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  113. Wow - that really was incredible, what a brave woman! I haven't been close, I don't think but then I guess you never really know do you?

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  114. I dont remember especially but Im glad you are ok and all finish well, take care dear!

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  115. wow how scary and lisa is amzing The other lady must have been an angel.
    I had a Pulmonary embolism a short time ago. At night a nurse came in She stayed with me and looked after me and told that I survived after I apparently had a very high fever. Than she left.

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  116. Keith, you acted irresponsibly in relation to your own live.
    When Lisa threw herself to rescue you, you risked her life too!
    Life is the most precious thing that you have. Swimming in Gulf Coast can not be compared with the value of your life,
    you are still quite a young man and must recognize this truth.
    Sorry!

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  117. I'm so glad you guys are OK..
    really we don't know when out of nowhere a thing or two can happen and can change things for forever :)

    No, I haven't have any close call experiences.
    I guess I don't want to too :P

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  118. You really are a tough guy, and so is Lisa. Thank god you escaped unhurt!
    Such an experience with me? Not really, Only if you consider not sleeping to be dangerous! :D

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  119. Thank God that you are both safe. I had a similar experience when I was on Block Island. I was swimming or something similar and the surf knocked me around and nearly pulled me out as well.

    I am glad you are safe and sound I would miss you.

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  120. Sounds scary, I am petrified of the sea for that reason. I had a similar experience in Bulgaria about 20 years ago and I still remember exactly what happened... Thank goodness for amazing friends and kind strangers :)

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  121. Awwwww glad you and Lisa are ok! What an awful horrible thing to happen! I am so sorry! :-( Big hugs all round and thank you to all the kind strangers who helped you both too! You are all heroes!

    The closest I came to death was when I was 5 - yes at the beach - dragged away by the tide but my dad saved me! I remember he was very angry with my big sisters who were looking after me (it was no-one's fault)but he was totally livid!

    Take care
    x

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  122. Wow, I'm so glad you are both all right! How horrifying -- that it can happen that quickly when you think you are in control. Kudos to the strangers who helped you, even more so for the heroic one who didn't stay to be thanked or take any credit. She did it just because.

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  123. Wow, I've always been afraid of rip currents but never knew anyone who was caught up in one. So glad you survived!!! When the worst of things happen, the best of things come out in people...heroes who save others...like those of the Boston bombings.
    I had a close call years ago when I drove across a train track without realizing the gate was down. The train blew its horn and I was then aware of the close call as rumbled past the rear of my car. Oblivious me!!!

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  124. Oh my goodness! The exact same thing happened to me when I was about 10 and teenager out surfing pulled me back in. But I don't think I fully comprehended it. You are one lucky son of a gun

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  125. so glad you two are all right! the ocean is to be respected, since it can turn without warning. how scary!! i wouldve prayed.
    ive only been in a couple of minor car accidents, but they scared me to death at the time...

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  126. Wow — what a terrifying experience. We were just talking about riptides, and you always hear "it happens before you know it" which is rather scary. How can you prepare for something that happens before you know it? Thank goodness for the brave pair who rescued you. I'm glad you're OK.

    -Stephanie

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  127. Oh Wow-I just now saw this post-so happy everyone is safe-including you-how frightening.
    No I have never experienced anything life threatening

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  128. Hi Keith .. well I'm glad you're here to tell the tale. I've always been anxious when in water, as I'm not the best swimmer - lucky that you were spotted and all was well.

    Scary - that I can understand ..

    Glad you're safe and life savers are just amazing people - I expect she knows how helpful she was ..

    With thoughts to one and all .. it's good to know there are people who will put themselves out for others .. Hilary

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  129. I've had one or two close calls, but none in an ocean. I've been to the ocean a few times but only up to my shins. JAWS ruined the idea of an ocean swim for me long ago....

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  130. Wow. Thank you for sharing your story. It's a gentle reminder for all of us that life's precious, let's be our best each moment and that we can be angels for each other too! You had two angels come out to save you! I'm sure you've been an angel for many others too!

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  131. Oh my heavens.... that is terrifying! Thank heavens you and Lisa made it back to shore safely! I am so sorry you had to go through such a scary experience! But I hope it won't keep you from enjoying the ocean!

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  132. Oh my god, that was truly a close call and a terrifying one at that.

    Good to know you're alright. Take Care!

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  133. I've had close calls but not in the water. Just happy you're safe.

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  134. Oh that's a nerve-wracking experience. Glad, that you are alright!

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  135. Oh gosh... wow. What an experience. I would be shaking for days! I hope you're mentally and physically okay and will recover from all of the shock involved. I haven't had a near death experience myself, but I have witnessed them and they've changed me forever. These experiences really are defining moments in life and I'm so glad you shared.

    Wow.

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  136. That is insane. Glad you, and everyone involved, are okay!!

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  137. Wow, how scary! What a lifesaver is Lisa! Glad you both lived to tell the tale. I love how random strangers help then disappear. Angels looking over us.

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  138. That must have been absolutely terrifying!
    Isn't it amazing , though, how total strangers are willing to help when someone is in trouble...and thank goodness they were there for you.

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  139. That's a tremendous feeling, isn't it? I was sucked out by a rip current when I was about 16. All the water rushed down to my ankles (I was in beyond my waist), and before I had any chance to get away, a ten foot wave smacked me and pulled me under for close to a minute. Luckily, I was able to get back to shore, but it was definitely tough and beyond scary. I'm glad you're alright- and good thing there were people there to help you!

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  140. it takes something away from you, such close calls. a certain confidence on being too normal to be involved in something so abnormal. leaves you laughing at the victory of sheer good luck or in some cases, numb at how close it was. :)

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  141. Wow, that's an exciting story! Glad it ended happily. It's wonderful when people go out of their way to help someone.

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  142. So glad you're okay, my friend.

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  143. Wow, what a story! How lucky you are to have Lisa by your side and that stranger! Hope you will never experience this again. I am scared of deep water and now even more! My Dad once pulled me out when I was 7.

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  144. Wow, that is so scary!!!! So glad you are ok!!!!

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  145. I am actually afraid of swimming far out into sea as the tides are unpredictable. But I did ride a small boat once and we ran into a storm. The boat shook and shook and we were all so scared. Thankfully the storm passed.

    Good to know you are fine ~

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  146. So glad to hear you are alright!

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  147. Moments like that provide so much perspective. You sound eternally grateful. So are we....

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  148. Again, I'm so glad you and Lisa are safe. I can't imagine how terrifying it must have been. Experiences like that can sure make you even more so grateful for life.

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  149. Oh my- glad you had friends looking out for you! My close call was when kayaking on a small river and was pushed by the current under a half way submerged tree....all of a sudden I am upside down in the water and I thought "Uh oh...this is not good"
    I released my spray skirt, swam a bit and popped up outside of the tree- my friend grabbed my kayak and the only thing I lost was my paddle and glasses. I was very fortunate.

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  150. Aloha Keith,

    I remember we were on vacation the same time last month, so imagine my shock when I read this post! (Although I'm sure my shock is nothing compared to when you first realized the situation!)

    Obviously, I'm very happy to hear all ended well and special tip of the cap to your Lisa and the folks who rallied around you in this time of need.

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  151. Good grief! How scary. Don't go out so far next time, ok? But I guess rip tides can get you even when you're relatively close to shore. I hope I never have a close call like this; they do however occur in my overactive imagination all the time.
    Glad you are safe and sound!

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  152. KEITH!!!! So glad you are ok! You got yourself a good woman there if I must say.

    I'm so glad you are good and that there are good people out there willing to help out.

    I am thankful you are all good!

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  153. We had a significant scare of ice build up on our wing struts once a long time ago. I was incredibly tempted to kiss the asphalt when we landed! Not fun. Glad you and Lisa were both OK. The good Lord wasn't ready for you, and the Devil didn't want you! Sweet deal...

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  154. The temp is in the 90's today and this post just gave me chills. Would it sound trite to call Lisa a hero? That was an incredibly brave thing for her to do. Obviously, so very glad you're both okay.

    Knock on wood...no close calls yet for me.

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  155. Wow, that is scary! I am not a water person, especially in the ocean! My hubby loves swimming and dodging the waves. I am glad everything was ok and Lisa was there to help.

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  156. That is so scary!!! I am glad that you are okay- thank goodness Lisa was there to help! I have never had a close call with death like that.. I would imagine it would be very life changing..

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  157. Another great question (which I will soon steal!). Couple of things:
    -So glad you and Lisa are fine! That must've been freaky! My brother's best friend from high school died two weeks ago, from an injury sustained while body surfing at Myrtle Beach. Egad! The ocean while peaceful, is very ominous!
    -I have not had a near death experience to speak of; however, when I was in high school, I feel into an open grave at night and I THOUGHT I would die.
    -Just the other night my family was discussing my husband's near death experience. We own a beverage distributor and my husband was delivering kegs and somehow a freight elevator fell on his head. He saw his life pass before his eyes then miraculously it stopped. He had to have stitches INSIDE his mouth, but he was okay. Thank God!

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  158. Oh my gosh, I'm really glad you're okay! Thank goodness for all of your guardian angels - both known and unknown. Life is so precious!

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  159. SO glad you are okay! The ocean REALLY scares me! My husband gets upset because I won't go out very far like he does, but I'm not uptight- I'm short and the waves are tall!

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  160. Yes, and it was in the Gulf of Mexico. Our kids were out pretty far in the water, but they were only knee deep. So my husband and I waded out to be with them. As we were returning to the beach, everything changed. My husband and kids are great swimmers, but not me. I clung to them as they tried to help me, and I prayed fervently as I went under thinking that that day would be the day I would see Jesus. We made it to the beach and upon arrival at home, I signed up for swimming lessons. I'm glad that you were also safe.

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