: How close have you come to "kicking the bucket"?


MACenstein'sMonster
Aug 11th, 2010, 05:01 AM
I was talking to an acquaintance the other day who told me a story of how they nearly bought the farm earlier this year while vacationing in Australia. He got carried away from shore by a rip current. He said he knew beforehand how to get out of a situation like that but panicked and swam directly against the current rather than across it. Needless to say his futile efforts put him in a heap of trouble. He said he nearly gave up, maybe seconds away from submitting to his apparent demise, and then somebody near him was able to pull him to safety. Just prior to his rescue he had the whole "life flashing before his eyes" experience. I've had some hairy experiences but never have I come that close to cashing in all my chips. You?

BTW, here's an interesting article about rip currents and how dangerous they can be:

HowStuffWorks "How Rip Currents Work" (http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/oceanography/rip-current.htm)

adagio
Aug 11th, 2010, 09:05 AM
I nearly bought the farm in Panama. I'm virtually a non swimmer. I was standing in hip deep water when I was sucked out away from shore. I thought I'd surly die but luckily a fellow on a jet ski came to my rescue. The incident left me shaking for days and I still have occasional nightmares about the incident. You can't imagine the sheer power of that water until it happens to you. Your life does flash before your eyes when you think you're a going to die.

Macfury
Aug 11th, 2010, 09:32 AM
Having never been close to locking the bucket, adagio, what is the experience of "life flashing before eyes" like?

Dammacx
Aug 11th, 2010, 09:44 AM
Most of my NDE's have involved a Bicycle or at least flying over the handlebars of one at high speeds. I don't remember seeing my life flashing but of course I still wasn't that old when they happened so it might have flashed so fast when it happened I missed it. If you really think about it there are probably lots situations you have been in where a split second choice or pure luck have saved your life. Things like pausing that extra second at a corner, deciding to go left instead of right. I have one from when I was a kid where a lawn dart (the old fashioned heavy pointy kind) got stuck in my hair after someone threw it over my head. Another inch or less down in the aim and it would have been tangled up in the back of my skull.

Think really hard about it and you might just freak yourself out and wonder how your still alive.

LOL

Dr.G.
Aug 11th, 2010, 10:05 AM
I was drafted into the US Army in 1970. I was never called up into active service, but had I been sent to Vietnam, my chances for survival were, in my estimation, slim. This is the closest I feel I have come to "kicking the bucket".

Puccasaurus
Aug 11th, 2010, 10:34 AM
I was a passenger in a friend's van going uphill on an icy road with no guard rails. We must've hit an ice patch and went spinning 360 degrees several times into oncoming traffic. I was too shocked to notice if my life flashed before my eyes -- it really happened too fast to think.

Luckily, we ended up coming to a stop just a few meters behind a police cruiser in the opposing lane that had stopped to help someone else. Quite a neat parking job by my friend and lady luck -- another few inches and it was into the gutter with us! I'm not even sure if the officer noticed us, or the fact that he nearly got his car smashed.

Despite this, we kept driving to go join our friends for pool. Ah, to be young and stupid again.

bryanc
Aug 11th, 2010, 10:48 AM
I was in a pretty bad car accident once. Had anyone else been in the car they would surely have been killed (the engine wound up crushing the front passenger seat and the rear passenger seats were crushed by the impact). The angle and force of the impact just happened to spare the driver's seat, so I survived only slightly injured. I didn't experience any "life flashing before my eyes" type of thing, but, in my stunned state, I had a hard time figuring out what sort of creature pulled me from the wreckage (it was a motorcyclist, and the combination of his helmet/riding gear and my impact-addled brain made him appear quite alien).

DempsyMac
Aug 11th, 2010, 11:23 AM
wow some crazy stories here.


Here is mine....
Just before my 15th birthday I broke my neck skiing. I did the same thing that Christopher Reeve did (and on the same day to boot!), the difference is that I can walk just fine now. I will tell you as a smart ass 14 year old ever nurse and Dr. that saw me and told me that I was "a lucky kid" was lost on me.

Here is the kicker, I did not see my life flash before me but as others have said I was rather young at the time, but my memory of the event is very different from what my Dad (who was with me on the mountain) recalls. To make a long story short I am not a religious person at all but I am rather sure that I saw an angel come help me before the ski patrol did. I get goose bumps when ever I think about this event closely and I am again right now.

To answer your question yes I ski and am teaching my kids how to ski now.

happy to be alive and walking.

bsenka
Aug 11th, 2010, 11:29 AM
I've had two icy road related incidents that had me thinking "this is it" at the time.

The first one, I was t-boned on my drivers' side door. The car was crushed right in to the centre console. I normally wear my seat-belt, but for some odd reason that day I did not. As a result, rather than being pinned in place while the car caved in, I was bumped over into the passenger seat, no worse for wear.

The second one, I lost traction on black ice going around a curve and hit the on-coming car head on. Both cars were completely destroyed. This time I did have the seatbelt on, and both the other driver and myself were OK.

In both cases, the EMTs did not believe me that I was OK. They looked at the cars, commented that they could not believe that anyone lived through the collisions, and assumed I must be in shock. I let them check me over, and I really was perfectly fine.

adagio
Aug 11th, 2010, 12:16 PM
Having never been close to locking the bucket, adagio, what is the experience of "life flashing before eyes" like?
Imagine a movie in ultra fast forward. I had images of special moments with my parents, brothers, husband and daughter just wizzing by. Somehow in my mind I was trying to reach out to them all at once. The weird part is I had the feeling of being a child trying to reach out. It is very difficult to explain. The strangest thing is I don't remember being rescued and brought to shore. I only know what I was told, rest is a blank. One minute I thought I was dying and the next I was surround by folks on the beach all staring down at me.

DempsyMac
Aug 11th, 2010, 12:45 PM
The strangest thing is I don't remember being rescued and brought to shore. I only know what I was told, rest is a blank. One minute I thought I was dying and the next I was surround by folks on the beach all staring down at me.

I can second that, had the same thing. The only issue now is that I have trouble differentiating what I remember and what people have told me as I have heard and told the story so many times over.

dona83
Aug 11th, 2010, 01:03 PM
The lone survivor in this BMW going 200km/h+ when it crashed into a construction vehicle must've surely had his life flash before his eyes, unless he was too drunk like the three other guys in the car.

http://raven.b-it.ca/portals/uploads/surrey/.DIR288/wHwy1Fatal-ES.jpg

arminia
Aug 11th, 2010, 01:52 PM
In Oct 1998 a propane truck exploded roughly halfway between Rogers Pass and Golden. If we hadn't stopped we would have been right beside it when it exploded.

kps
Aug 11th, 2010, 03:34 PM
I had quite a few close calls but none where I got my life in a slideshow.

Had a few when I worked for a mining company in the north both involving water and a number during my driving career.

The one that sticks out for me, is when I jack-knifed a flatbed improperly loaded by the shipper. I left during a blizzard to go load in Tillsonburg and had no problems getting there empty. The way it worked was that your load was staged on the ground, you pulled up beside it and the guys would load it in that order. After I was loaded I proceeded on my way to the Port of New York, by now the roads were covered with heavy wet slush.

I was descending a mild grade on the 403 just around Brantford when I heard a loud clang and metal breaking. I looked in my side mirror and I can tell you there is nothing like seeing your trailer passing you. I clearly remember saying in a very caIm voice...*****. The trailer smacked the rear of my truck, we made a 180 across the highway and slid into the ditch under an overpass. When the rig came to a halt, I watched out of the window as the rear of the trailer twisted and went on it's side. The chains holding the load snapped and 34,000lbs of pick-up truck axels went scattering throughout the ditch. Remarkably, the front half of the trailer remained upright and connected to my tractor which also remained upright but suffered damage to the bunk and exhaust stack.

I was completely calm and collected, like I did this every day as some sort of routine. First thing I did was get out, open the side compartment and set up flares while telling drivers who stopped that everything is ok and they should get going. Then I waited. The road crews came and the cops. After a while the recovery crew came and disconnected my truck from the trailer. It was in drivable condition and so I was allowed to leave and bobtail the truck home while the cleanup continued.

I guess I was just before the 403 reconnects with the QEW in Burlington when the most uncomfortable feeling of anxiety came over me. My knees started to tremble and my stomach had butterflies, my heart was racing. That was 8 hours after the accident. Totaly freaked me out.

As a followup: The customer loaded two large crates weighing only 5000lbs total in the first half of the 48' trailer. On the rear they loaded 34,000 lbs of truck axles. All the weight was on the rear boggies (the tandem set of axles) of the trailer. As I went bouncing down the road all that weight concentrated in the rear broke the trailing arm on the trailer suspension. This caused the 8 set of wheels to actually shift and steer the rear of the trailer. The uneven load distribution also acted as a set of "bolas" and once it started to whip around --it just went. I was never charged and the shipper never filed a claim as it was proven to be their fault.

sjb
Aug 11th, 2010, 04:03 PM
Had some heavy female bleeding (from a known, diagnosed problem for which I was awaiting surgery), walked into emerg with a hemoglobin of 36 (normal range is from about 110 - 150 or so). Doc told me that if I had any other underlying medical condition (eg. diabetes or heart problems) I would have been dead. Took 6 units of blood in about 24 hours to get me even close to where I should have been.

SoyMac
Aug 11th, 2010, 04:36 PM
Wild stories, and I'm glad you folks are alive to tell them! :clap:

I feel like we had an ehMac thread like this a couple of years ago. Yes?

Anyway, apologies if I've told you this one before... :rolleyes:

Me:
18 years old, walking down a 3-story staircase-with-stairwell, at school, talking to friends following me.

Railing -> low. <-- foreshadowing!

(I remember none of this, and this is how it was described to me.)

I went over the railing and fell 35 feet to the nice terrazzo floor, 3 stories down.
I bounced off the railings a couple of times on the way.

No Flash-life-before-my-eyes, but maybe that's because I don't remember the event.

= fractured skull, crushed a few thoracic vertebrae, broken foot, chipped a couple of other bones.

Like Trevor Robertson, despite the broken vertebrae, I was lucky enough to have suffered no spinal cord damage.

Brain wasn't so lucky, and I'm left with tinitus in one ear and no sense of smell.

But I'm quite thankful it wasn't a lot worse. No major neurological deficit, and if someone said, "We're taking one of your five senses, what's it going to be?", I'd have to say that I'd rather not be blind, deaf, or have somatosensory system damage.

Like many of you in this thread I'm sure, I look back at the event and think of how fortunate I am.

Lichen Software
Aug 12th, 2010, 09:38 AM
The first was working in a paper mill for a summer job. I was working on the paper machines during a paper break. There is a hole in the floor down to a hydro-pulper - four or five concentric rings with large teeth that wiz around and grind broken paper back up into pulp. I slipped on the floor and went down through the hole. I had an air hose in one hand and caught a pipe with the other. If I hadn't, all that would have been left was a smear.

The second was as a teenager driving a bunch of kids home from a lake party in my dad's 65 Meteor. I hit a bump in the road and the drive shaft dropped out from the motor end and jammed into the road. It knocked the back axel loose so it was sort of free rotating. We were going about 75 MPH at the time. I got the car stopped and no one hurt.

In both instances, no life flashing before my eyes. Rather it was like time slowed down or stopped while I was doing things.

SINC
Aug 12th, 2010, 10:57 AM
It was Sunday August 20, 2000 at about 6:30 a.m. I was in our motor home and just woke up in the yard of a friend’s acreage where he had thrown a pig roast party the night before.

My wife had to work at 6:00 that morning so she had left and driven home around 8:00 p.m. the night before. I had not been feeling good and went to bed in the motor home about 9:30 p.m.

I awoke about 6:30 a.m. And put on a pot of coffee and turned on the TV to watch the news. I poured a cup and sat on the couch and leaned over to set the cup on the table. That’s when the pain hit. Massive chest pain that very nearly made me pass out. I thought to myself, this is it. I’m gonna die right here all by myself.

Then I decided I had to fight and fight I did. No, no, no I said over and over to myself as I fought the pain. The pain was incredible. I have no idea how long it lasted, but it finally quit.

When it did, I was exhausted and weak as a kitten. I was soaked in perspiration, but when I went to have a sip of coffee, it was cold, so I must have passed out for a period of time as it seemed like only a minute or two.

I put on a movie to try and pass the time as I was too weak to do anything else and the nearest rig to mine was nearly a block away and walking for help was out of the question. My cell phone was still attached to the floor of my car back then and the wife had taken it with her when she drove the car home.

So I sat and watched “Seven” for two hours. When it was over, I felt a bit stronger and decided to drive home, a 35 km trip. I did so successfully and parked the rig, grabbed my bag and went into the house.

I fell on the couch and stayed there or in bed for the next two days, not saying a word to anyone about what happened. (I was reluctant to go to doctors anyway.)

On Tuesday afternoon, I felt much better and decided I needed to go for a walk, but when I got two blocks from home, I had to sit on the curb I was so weak. Back to bed I went and got up Wednesday August 23 when the wife left for work about 6:15 a.m.

At 7:00 a.m while lying on the couch, the pain returned, only this time much more severe combined with what felt like an elephant standing on my chest. I knew right then that I could not fight this time, so I hollered as loud as I could for my daughter who was in the basement. She ran upstairs, took one look and called 911. I had gone unconscious by that time.

By the time the fire department arrived, I had no pulse. They got me off the couch, cut off my sweat top and the paramedics arrived and took over. (All this told to me by my daughter.) They hit me three separate times with the defibrillator before my heart began to beat.

The next thing I remembered was a feeling of floating in air, and I was. I regained consciousness some 50 minutes after the first pain and was on a stretcher being carried across the living room of our home. An EMS guy looked down at me and asked. “What’s your name and do you know where you are?” I did and told him so. His reply was, “Welcome back.”

The ride to the emergency room was a blur and when I got there I was given something to calm me while a team of medical folks worked on me. I vividly recall watching all this take place and being calm as can be. It was like I had a seat near the ceiling and as I looked down, I saw my wife in her RN uniform on one side holding my hand. They were rapidly hooking me up to various machines and gave me some kind of injection to break the blood clot doing the damage.

Then, nothing.

I awoke again about two hours later while being transferred in the bed to the cardiac care unit. I spent two days there and the two paramedics who saved me came to visit. They told me I was “gone” when they arrived and it took them a half hour to bring me back.

I didn’t much like it in CCU, so signed myself out. There is much more to the story over the following five months, but let’s end it there.

dona83
Aug 12th, 2010, 01:43 PM
Some very intriguing stories so far. Lichen, you have to wonder why that hole was there? SINC, probably a reminder to us that sometimes we should seek medical help or at least doctor's advice, no matter how minor it is or even if it has passed.

Lichen Software
Aug 12th, 2010, 02:39 PM
Lichen, you have to wonder why that hole was there?

You have to picture a machine about 100 yards long, 40 feet wide and two to three stories high. Where I was was at the "dry end" - where the paper comes out.

When the paper sheet breaks, it has to go somewhere, which at this point on the machine was through the floor and into the hydra-pulper to be reused. The hole was effectively a part of the machine. During a break when the paper did not run true, part of my job was pushing broke (broken paper) into the hole.

It was about 5:00 in the morning and I probably was (a) pretty tired and (b) not too smart.

As heavy industry goes, paper mills are pretty hard core.

SINC
Aug 12th, 2010, 02:44 PM
SINC, probably a reminder to us that sometimes we should seek medical help or at least doctor's advice, no matter how minor it is or even if it has passed.

Yep, I was stubborn and did it all wrong. I survived in spite of myself. Wouldn't recommend anyone else try it, which is why I told the truth regarding my experience. I now visit the sawbones regularly, even if I did learn the hard way. ;)

MACenstein'sMonster
Aug 12th, 2010, 02:49 PM
You have to picture a machine about 100 yards long, 40 feet wide and two to three stories high. Where I was was at the "dry end" - where the paper comes out.

When the paper sheet breaks, it has to go somewhere, which at this point on the machine was through the floor and into the hydra-pulper to be reused. The hole was effectively a part of the machine. During a break when the paper did not run true, part of my job was pushing broke (broken paper) into the hole.

It was about 5:00 in the morning and I probably was (a) pretty tired and (b) not too smart.

As heavy industry goes, paper mills are pretty hard core.

:yikes:

So how often have you woke up in a cold sweat after that near miss?

EDIT: Thought just came to me.... If you were a spy or a superhero at the time then you were pretty much guaranteed to not get hurt. Had you been a supervillian....ouch. Sorry, not trying to be a smart ass. It's just how my brain works. :)

hhk
Aug 12th, 2010, 03:37 PM
Trout fishing in the early spring. Water temp about 51 degrees F. Lost my footing and got swept away by a fast current. The hairy part is the waders filling up with water and acting as an anchor. Fought to bring my head above the surface for the occasional breath and basically let the current take me.

Felt like an eternity but it must've only been 30 seconds and I could feel my butt dragging on gravel and I knew I was in a shallow spot. I steered myself towards shallower water using my hands and grounded myself.

No life-flashing occurred. I was strangely calm throughout. Lost a really nice St. Croix rod though.

dona83
Aug 12th, 2010, 03:41 PM
As heavy industry goes, paper mills are pretty hard core.

I'll say! How long ago was this? Do you think safety standards have improved since then?

Yep, I was stubborn and did it all wrong. I survived in spite of myself. Wouldn't recommend anyone else try it, which is why I told the truth regarding my experience. I now visit the sawbones regularly, even if I did learn the hard way. ;)

Well, glad you're here SINC, despite our differences it's always refreshing to see your side of things! I tend to be stubborn myself when it comes to seeing the doc as well even though I know I probably should (oh I'm in pain... well I'll wait for the pain to get better or worse before I do something about it), and I reckon I'm not the only one around here.

imactheknife
Aug 12th, 2010, 04:06 PM
mine isn't near death but it could have easily ended that way..it is an ironic story..

My mon used to be a RN in the Red Deer Emergency room for years growing up. She used to have to deal with all sorts of accident victims of highway 2 accidents in the winter time. There is one stretch of highway between Innisfail and Olds that always gets bad in the winter and it has claimed many lives over the years.

Fast forward to 2006...I met the the best person in the world "my significant other" the year before in Alberta but being that she was from Ontario she did not know what winters were like in Alberta, yet...

We decided to go to banff one day in March and left Red Deer to rip up to the hills and ski and play in the mountains. We decided to goto the hot springs after skiing and drive home. Funny thing was that in the morning and all day there was not a cloud in the sky and even when we left Banff and all the way back to almost Olds there was not a trace of snow.

Being that I drove all the way there (3.5 hours) and most of the way back I was getting tired so I asked if Kate wanted to drive. She said okay and I wasn't worried as the highway was clear. She had never drive my Forerunnre before and wasn't used the how high it was either. She started driving and I told her about the section of highway that was usually bad and within 15 minutes it started to snow.

We had already passed the Olds turn off and were heading towards Bowden. The snow really started to come down to the point you couldn't even see what lane you were in. She was doing about 120 and slowed down alittle because of the conditions. Just as you come past Bowden the highway turns a bit and there is a service road that goes down into a Fas Gas service center and I could tell she was in between the service road off ramp and the slow lane heading for the grass. I told her (gently) that she might want to turn a bit left to stay in the slow lane...BOOM

Here is the scary part....she did not gently turn the wheel she cranked the wheel left which started the forerunner sideways down the highway heading for the center median (no concrete just grass and then on coming traffic-towards Calgary) she was screaming and I thought "this is it!" I have heard of the stories of head on's at highway speed etc...I was frozen not knowing what to do...my life was in her hands..the tires were screeching so loudly!....thank God she cranked the wheel right as she saw where we were heading towards on coming traffic and the next thing we are in the grassy median between the service road and the highway doing one donut after another. I swear we did 4-5 and all the while she is screaming....my fingers are deep in the dash, quiet as a mouse and all I could think is I hope like Hell we don't roll this!! Why?? I do a lot of tile work and at the time this was my work truck. I had all my tile tools (cutters, grinders, wet saw, tiles) in the back and if we would have rolled that chances of getting decapitated or impaled was very high....

When we stopped I started to breath again....she looked at me and asked if I was going to yell at her! I said not and asked if she was okay...she started to Cry and freak out. I tried to comfort her but she was shaking like a leaf so I got out and checked out the outside....the median wasn't deep thankfully and that is why we just spun around....if we would have ended up in oncoming traffic I would hate to know what would have happened....


It is weird the slow motion effect though and being thrown around like a rag doll with everything out of your control....don't want to do that again anytime soon..we are still together by the way!

eMacMan
Aug 12th, 2010, 05:59 PM
While not really close to death, I do recall one instance where I just had to stop thinking and let my body just do its thing. For just a second or two I was observing from above as I reacted perfectly then back to being one being, and safely and happily on my way.

WCraig
Aug 12th, 2010, 11:13 PM
...It is weird the slow motion effect though and being thrown around like a rag doll with everything out of your control....don't want to do that again anytime soon..we are still together by the way!

Yes, but do you ever let her drive? ;)

Craig

imactheknife
Aug 12th, 2010, 11:31 PM
Yes, but do you ever let her drive? ;)

Craig

Haha, not oftan...I just about killed us both that sAme year passing uphill and nearly causing a head on...I have learned to be very smart and careful when passing on roads I don't know. The road had passing lines going up the hill/ incline but there shouldn't have been.

I think it would be cool to hve a real near death experience like
flatliners the movie

Macfury
Aug 12th, 2010, 11:33 PM
I think it would be cool to hve a real near death experience like
flatliners the movie

Why? It turned out really bad for all of them!

imactheknife
Aug 12th, 2010, 11:33 PM
Yep, I was stubborn and did it all wrong. I survived in spite of myself. Wouldn't recommend anyone else try it, which is why I told the truth regarding my experience. I now visit the sawbones regularly, even if I did learn the hard way. ;)

Glad to see it turned out okay...daughter must feel special to have been there for her dad..

imactheknife
Aug 12th, 2010, 11:39 PM
Why? It turned out really bad for all of them!

Yeah, I forgot that part.. Other than that though ;)

AppleAuthority
Aug 15th, 2010, 03:56 PM
All very intriguing stories!

A little over a year ago I was driving with two other friends not too far from where I live, in an area where new estate homes were being built. It was lightly raining, and typical of areas of construction, there was a significant amount of sand on the road, and the grass was not quite settled into the ground yet. It was about 2:30 am, and we were more or less passing time by chatting before I drove them home.

Admittedly, I was driving over the speed limit. During the approach to a fairly sharp right corner, a deer happened to run out from the passenger side of the car. My natural reflex was to avoid the deer, which I did successfully, however the consequences were severe. I was already turning right, but I had to tug the wheel further to the right (opposite the direction the deer was headed), and unfortunately this placed me into a four wheel skid. Knowing the car was front wheel drive, I tried to regain grip by giving a touch of throttle coming out of the corner and hoped the stability control would compensate, but the rear of the car was lost on the sandy wet pavement, and I really did not have much time to decide what to do. There was no curb on the left hand side of the road, but instead freshly laid grass as previously mentioned. The left rear wheel got caught in this, and all of a sudden, I felt the right side of the car lift, and begin rolling over. I remember most of the roll, and thinking that "this will end badly", as the driver side of the car was the first to hit the ground. The resulting impact was more dramatic, as all of a sudden I was staring at the ground, with all sorts of crap scattered inside the car, hanging against gravity by the seat belt. I'm not sure how long I stayed like that before I realized I was alive, and immediately checked to make sure my other friends were okay. Three of the four doors of the car were jammed, so immediately I removed the key and got everyone out and far away from the car. Then realizing I left my iPhone in there, I crawled back in and called 911. My friends tell me that I was still professional even with my phone call, apparently saying, "Hello, I have a little situation involving three people and a rolled vehicle, some assistance would be appreciated."

Two OPP cruisers came, and the officers were fantastic. The one officer told me that things like this happen everyday, and then preceded to talk about MMA and the fight that night involving Anderson Silva's boring performance. The other officer drove my two friends home, which was great considering the officers were from Wasaga Beach (go figure), and my friends lived in the south-end of Barrie.

What I do know, is that had I been in the Jeep rather than the Jetta, I feel it could've been much worse. I didn't have a single injury, and I largely attribute that to the car. I also know now that while the police found no reason to charge me, in the eyes of the insurance companies, since I never came in contact with the deer (no evidence of deer blood or hair anywhere on the car) it was an at-fault accident, which I'm still paying dearly for. In that respect, I'll be sure to hit the deer next time. ;)

MacDoc
Aug 15th, 2010, 05:28 PM
Two come to mind tho at the time I did not consider them particularly life threatening....did not feel like it from the inside as they occurred.

My first day kayaking on Oakville Creek - a very warm easter weekend and the snow was melting like crazy so a max CLass 2 trip turned into some CLass 4 nasties - not so good for a novice.

Made my first roll okay ( damn that water was cold and black ) - got swept into an undercut bank with roots and did not make that roll.
Lost kayak, paddle, shoes and a ring on my finger.

Did not get caught on any roots and floated downstream - towed to shore by another kayaker and walked out of the valley over the snow in my sock feet.
Just about gave a home owner a heart attack as I wandered up from the dead end road all geared up in hand me downs from others......soaked, shivering and in sock feet. XX)

Clearly that scrub along the undercut bank was a death threat but I have no memory of it.
5 kayaks and 9 canoes ( separate parties ) started out from Lower Baseline.....3 kayaks and no canoes made it to Dundas St Bridge a few KM downstream. All survived afaik.

Safety gear got us all through.

•••

That was self inflicted. This was as a passenger.

Was on the QEW at dusk heading towards Hamilton from St Kitts for a bridge tournament. I was passenger in my school buddy's Mustang.

Traffic was about as heavy as it could be and still travel at full speed.
Suddenly the car in front of us went up on two wheels...of course our eyes followed him and by the time our eyes tracked back there was a farm wagon parked across the fast lane - full of beach stones in barrels and planks.

No chance for the driver to even brake.
We cut it in two. Fortunately we hit the wagon not the tractor that was trying to cross the QEW :rolleyes:
Because it was an early Mustang it had only lap belts which saved me from the wagon full of beach stones, barrel parts and planks that came through the windshield and right over my head as I was tossed forward.
No seat belt? - I would NOT have survived that in all likelihood. All I had was a bit of glass in my eye as my left hand did not get up quite as quickly as my right hand - it occurred that fast.
My friend was out cold - broken arm from the planks - he had never touched the brakes - luckily the front wheel jammed and we stopped in a straight line.

I was still expecting to get hit from behind but a car pulls up beside us - stops - rolls the window down and asks if we are okay.....what are the odds - it's a doctor I know from my home town...he sort of looks then takes off.....
and then something out of a movie we are surrounded by a Ski Patrol team in full gear...:confused: = they were on a training course and they took care of my friend but I tell you that was a weird thing to see in early autumn.

We were fortunate as that accident ended up with 32 vehicles involved in both directions including one head on and flashing lights as far as the eye could see. I could hear the crump crump when I got out the car. No deaths but the poor local hospital was overwhelmed.
Had to beg a ride in an ambulance as I did not appear to be hurt and they were surprised I was from the Mustang. ( written off of course ). Got my eye washed out and all was fine - young enough to have no aches and pains I can recall.
The memory is very vivid and the real fear was just sitting up and waiting to get rear-ended.
Hitting that wagon at 130 or so had the potential for life ending....the tractor driver was never even charged....no licence.:rolleyes:
Some weird aspects with the fleeing doctor, the ski patrol ( great guys ) and that acreage of flashing lights - very surreal even now 40 years later ( it was just before the QEW was turned completely into restricted access. )

Given mcycles, sailplanes, kayaks and long hours alone in the ocean with a snorkel..... it's been pretty uneventful from a ND standpoint.

Had I not been very comfortable in and under the water since I was a kid there would have been more.....best thing you can do for a kid - get them comfortable around water and even surf.....with a care.

Lichen Software
Aug 15th, 2010, 09:54 PM
:yikes:

So how often have you woke up in a cold sweat after that near miss?

EDIT: Thought just came to me.... If you were a spy or a superhero at the time then you were pretty much guaranteed to not get hurt. Had you been a supervillian....ouch. Sorry, not trying to be a smart ass. It's just how my brain works. :)

I shook at bit that night nd then went back to work. It hit me later.

Lichen Software
Aug 15th, 2010, 09:56 PM
I'll say! How long ago was this? Do you think safety standards have improved since then?


This was back in the 70's. That hole is in the floor to this day.

talonracer
Aug 24th, 2010, 07:53 PM
My friends and I would go "tubing" down one of the creeks that were by our houses every summer. Unfortunately one year we went too early, and the creek was still well much higher than the norm with seasonal flooding.

Being young and brave, we threw our tubes in the creek and climbed on board anyway. My friend and I were riding together on one, and as we came around a sharp corner, we noticed a log had became lodged against the banks, with the large trunk and roots out 3/4 of the way across the creek. We tried to avoid it but crashed right into it, which led to my friend being thrown onto the tree, and myself pressed against it. This would have been okay, except the tube was pressed against me, against the tree. My friend had the best intentions in trying to pull the tube off me, but he was not strong enough to fight off the current, and as such every time he tried, he would slip and the tube would smash into my head and knock me into the log. After several bouts of this, I got knocked unconscious and slipped underneath the log.

I woke up a while later, floating under water and feeling strangely calm and at peace. I looked up to see the light of the sun through the water, and remembered where I was. I reached up, and felt nothing but water. Kicked down, and again felt nothing. I began kicking and struggling and did reach the surface after several freaked out moments. I made it to the shore and a while later my very scared friend came floating down and found me!

Lichen Software
Aug 24th, 2010, 08:07 PM
My friends and I would go "tubing" down one of the creeks that were by our houses every summer. Unfortunately one year we went too early, and the creek was still well much higher than the norm with seasonal flooding.My friend and I were riding together on one, and as we came around a sharp corner, we noticed a log had became lodged against the banks, with the large trunk and roots out 3/4 of the way across the creek. We tried to avoid it but crashed right into it, which led to my friend being thrown onto the tree, and myself pressed against it. This would have been okay, except the tube was pressed against me, against the tree. My friend had the best intentions in trying to pull the tube off me, but he was not strong enough to fight off the current, and as such every time he tried, he would slip and the tube would smash into my head and knock me into the log. After several bouts of this, I got knocked unconscious and slipped underneath the log.

I woke up a while later, floating under water and feeling strangely calm and at peace. I looked up to see the light of the sun through the water, and remembered where I was. I reached up, and felt nothing but water. Kicked down, and again felt nothing. I began kicking and struggling and did reach the surface after several freaked out moments. I made it to the shore and a while later my very scared friend came floating down and found me!

I have a friend who does a lot of canoeing. One of his big fears is the scenario you have just described. In particular his nightmare is a submerged tree with roots that catches the canoeist after a tumble in the water in the early spring and he never surfaces.

MacDoc
Aug 24th, 2010, 10:32 PM
Yeah every kayakers nightmare - something the water runs under or through where you don't fit.
That was a very close call for you Talon....did you have float jackets on?

Kayakers are mostly good that way about gear.....I've seen some canoeist tho and just shuddered,,,no helmet and marginal protective gear, :(
Bashed my head a few times upside down in a river - but mostly always rolled up instead of bailing..

Rps
Aug 25th, 2010, 08:52 PM
Have had three: hit by a car when I was around 10, almost drowned when I was around 13, and when I was in my 20s had a slight altercation with two people with a rifle............. I think I've used up my quota..........

Max
Aug 25th, 2010, 10:23 PM
I was 17, living in Mississauga. Had a friend who was a real live wire behind the wheel. I remember him picking me up one night in his parents' battered old late 60s Pontiac station wagon... at the time, once you went west of Dundas and Winston Churchill you had an awful lot of open road. Lots of farmer's fields, and cool destinations like 16 Mile Creek. Middle of nowhere, back then. We'd rip up Highway 5 toward Oakville and go like lightning. I remember hitting 100 mph one time and I was sick with fear. The car was rattling up a storm. I was a fool to ride with the lad, but he was a really nice guy in every other respect and I guess I admired his crazy nerve and wild streak.

Later that summer he picked me up in his older brother's cherry-red company vehicle - a shiny new delivery van - doubtless a Chevy or a Ford, I forget which. It was a full-sized cargo van - a bucket seat for the driver, a plain, utilitarian stump of a plastic console between us, and nothing else. I sat on a wooden apple crate - I kid you not. I think there was a seat belt - had to be. But the seat that should have been there had been removed. I don't recall if I belted up or not. It was about 33 years ago now. Up we go on the Erin Mills Parkway, shooting past our high school. This guy really got an adrenalin buzz from speed, that much was clear.

Suddenly, on a long, wide curve that should have been a breeze to navigate, we're out of control, just like that. He tried to get it back on the road, got it back for a moment, but he must have over-compensated in his panic and we veered off again for good. Sickly feeling of high-speed lateral movement and things twirling and my friend having enough time to mutter an expletive and nothing else. A witness later said we flipped two or three times before ending up on tipped sideways in a shallow ditch.

We stop moving and I am numb with shock. I look up, see the passenger side door over my head. I had a torn piece of the rubbery foam-plastic console clenched in my hand. The rest of the console was somewhere in the back of the van. The van interior was littered with shards of glass. I pushed up the door and pulled myself out. I remember yelling at my friend, in a quavery, too-high voice to follow me, because I thought I smelled gas and I was convinced the thing was going to blow. Too many episodes of Hawaii 5-O, methinks. Nothing happened. We got out and took a shaky look around.

No gas leak, no flames, but the van was totaled. We had a couple of very minor scrapes and bruises. The cops measured the road marks from the start of the accident and said the crash took literally hundreds of feet to unfold. He looked at us with narrowed eyes and put it plainly - we were lucky to be alive. His eyes told us that we were a pair of morons. No other cars were involved, either. Strange now that I think back on it.

My friend was grounded for an awful long time. I don't remember what charges there were. His livid brother presumably lost his job, even though he had had no idea that his little brother had 'borrowed' the vehicle entrusted to him. Most of all, I remember their parents being aghast. They were angry yet relieved, and deeply ashamed of their son. They were Pakistani immigrants and I think they were freaked that a white boy had nearly been killed in a vehicle driven by their speed demon Canadian-born son. I certainly remember this awkward racial component rearing its ugly head.

I never got into a vehicle with that fellow again. That one night effectively severed our friendship; a year later I was attending art school downtown and my suburban days were rapidly receding into the rear-view mirror.

I still think of that guy from time to time though, and every now and then I've tried to Google him up. No luck. Maybe his taste for speed got the better of him.