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Have you ever had a near-death experience? What happened?

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
I have had a couple of clear near-death experiences in my life, both involved a clear realization that I was about to die, or was actually dying even then, and there was nothing I could do about it.

Mine both involved water, and this is why, even today, I take extra care when in the water, because at the back of my mind I can still feel the sensation of drowning if I think about it.

The first near-death experience was when I was maybe 6 years old, and was visiting an aunt & uncle in Guernsey in the channel islands. They had given me a gift of a small model sailboat that actually worked and I took it to the Guernsey tidal pool to have some sailing adventures.

I remember the little boat floating a too far from the side of the pool and reaching for it and then falling in. I couldn't swim at the time and I clearly recall feeling panic at being lost in the water with nothing to grab onto. I started sinking and remember breathing in water and opening my eyes and seeing the bottom and sides of the pool and a particular bolt recessed in the side of the pool under water. I knew I was going to die. A calm came over me and I lost consciousness.

My uncle apparently realized I wasn't around any more and searched. He saw me at the bottom of the pool and pulled me out and resuscitated me. I think they confiscated the sailboat after that. Years later, as a teen, I went back to the same tidal pool in Guernsey, and looked for the bolt I saw under the surface of the water and sure enough there it was.

My second near-death experience was in the Congo River.

I guess I was maybe 14 years old. A group of friends and I had swum out to a large rounded boulder protruding from the surface of the river to lay on it in the sun.

The Congo River is huge and notoriously treacherous in places. You can see giant boulders exposed in the dry season that have holes drilled through them by current vortexes spinning some sand grains in the same spot over time. The side currents are fickle and change in unpredictable ways. There are places in the Congo River where you can see standing waves 5 meters tall, and the banks near such places vibrate because of the strength of the passing water..

The area we were swimming in seemed calm enough though, with a very slow moving current flowing past and around the boulder. I hopped in the river to cool off. There was nothing really to grip on the boulder as the sides were smooth. Suddenly the water level dropped about half a meter and the current increased in speed dramatically and I got sucked under the boulder. There must have been a large hole in the boulder under water and I was getting extruded through that. There was no way to swim out of it. My friends above were some distance away and had not noticed the increase in current speed or that I had disappeared.

The current was so strong I was trapped inside the hole under the boulder , under water, unable to swim or even pry myself out. I started blacking out and again had this super calm serene feeling I had experience in Guernsey. I knew I was going to die. I started inhaling water.
For some reason, the current changed and began flowing in the opposite direction. I was blown out of the smooth underwater hole and surfaced, sputtering, some distance away. I had to swim back to the boulder. My friends had no idea what had just happened to me.

Have you ever had a near death experience? Tell us about it.
 

newstyle666

TRIBE Member
Yes once...

Friend was driving a Ford Explorer back to the City from the airport area. This was in 1999. We were driving on the overpass that connects the 427 with the Gardiner Expressway Eastbound.

Light snow was falling, as he adjusted the radio he suddenly lost control of the vehicle. Possibly black ice. It happened so fast, and since the tires lost traction - we slammed into the southernly guardrail around 70 - 80km. I was in the backseat, but the G-force was so totally overpowering it felt literally like my entire upper and lower jaw & teeth were going to rip out of my mouth. Hard to describe really... that moment also played out in slow motion at the time. It felt like an impact of 1 minute, even tho it was just a split second.

The back wheels of our vehicle lifted off the road and I could clearly see the Gardiner Expressway below us as we pivoted toward 90 degrees. At the time, I believed we were destined to topple over and land on the freeway below. Certain death... not to mention other possible deaths and carnage after our impact on the Gardiner if that had happened ..

However for some unknown reason, I suppose simple physics, we stopped tipping over at nearly 90 degrees vert. The vehicle hovered peacefully in that spot for about 5 seconds or so, and then landed back down on its rear wheels.

Seatbelts saved all of our lives (3 in the car). No serious injuries. The front passengers sustained bruises to the face from airbags. The only injury I sustained was a bruise across my chest and stomach starting from my right shoulder and ending at my left waist from the seatbelt restraining me.

A car behind us stopped immediately, and said he was extremely happy to see us walk away as he was sure we had died on impact... he drove us downtown and we called the police about the abandoned SUV after the fact.
 

glych t.anomaly

TRIBE Member
Years ago, actually right around when i joined tribe, i was a bike courier, and was riding down dundas going east past church, past Jarvis, and just as i was going into the little meander that dundas does before it passes sherbourne.

i was cruising at a fair pace, and i see another rider coming up and approaching dundas from the south. i know he saw me, he thought he was fast enough to get in front of me and stay ahead, but he waited till the last minute to jut out in front of me so he didnt have to stop and wait for me to pass. cars on my left, cars parked to the right, so i had almost nowhere to go, hit my brakes but slammed into the back of the other cyclist.

endo'd of my bike, hit the ground and rolled a few times, come to a stop on my back, and hear a car screech to a halt, with my head under the front hood of the cars passenger side, maybe 8 - 10 inches from the passenger side tire.

all i could smell was engine oils, burnt rubber smell, and after the initial shock, got out from under the car. the other cyclist was all pissed or something cuz i could hear him yelling till he saw what had happened and took off like the cunt he was.

i looked around and the driver of the car got out and was such a mixture of emotions, im sure he thought he had killed me, i was pretty much borderline on the verge of tears and awe, i walked around the car and hugged the driver and thanked them for paying attention and being an aware driver.

i picked up my bike, called my courier company and quit.

i have had some fucked up cycling accidents in toronto, but NEVER like that.

now when i ride, i dont care how fast i think i am going, i make sure to not get myself in that kind of situation when riding again, if its in my power.

no helmet, nothing would have prevented that car crushing my head like a soft grape.

thank FUCK that diver was more aware than not.
 

kyfe

TRIBE Member
I've had a few

1. At a baseball tourney when I was around 10, finished our 1st game and were waiting for our 2nd to start, we were sucking on ice cubes to keep cool, one went down into my throat and I started to turn blue. Someone grabbed a cup of hot coffee and shoved it in my mouth dissolving the ice cube and burning my throat.

2. Passing my friends VW in my dads 81 Parisienne, my buddy didn't see the car in the oncoming lane (which I was travelling in) till the last second and slammed on his brakes, with about 20 ft to go until impact I swerved back over and just missed a high speed head on collision. The Smiths - There is a light that never goes out was playing on the tape deck and everyone in the car remained silent for the remaining 20 minutes of the trip. When we arrived the other cars occupants thought we were going to die.

3. September 7 2012 last day at our old house. Finished delivering some stuff to value village few things they didn't take so he suggested I dump them in once of the trash bins. I was alone and began dumping the light fixtures when I got to the last one it slipped off the pile and crashed on my ankle. I looked down and there was blood squirting everywhere and onto my other leg. I have never seen so much blood luckily I didn't panic, I decided against 911 as I would bleed out before they arrived. I decided not to drive myself to the hospital for fear of passing out so I went with option C which was drive home and get my wife to drive me. I sped home which was close called my wife and had her drive me. Got to the hospital an EMS guy saw me put me in a wheelchair and got to admissions. I came to upside down on the gurney, I was told I passed out and went into convulsions (shock + lack of blood). They tried to get a pulse and could not at which point they turned me upside down to get the blood back to my heart and stick an IV in me. This is when I came to, got stitched up only to have it all come apart after and then again the next day. Finally I asked them to burn it shut.
 
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the_fornicator

TRIBE Member
1) Almost drowned in Mexico (caught underwater between waves coming in and a wicked undertow). Last year.

2) I dunno how many squirmishes as a kid getting caught in the wrong group. Was shot at twice when I was 18/19 while living in California, stabbed on one occasion, got in a samurai-esque baseball-bat fight in a 10-on-10, all-out fight (not exactly 10-on-10, but there were a lot on either side and both of us were looking to connect on home run swings), my friend and I getting jumped by >6 people -my friend got a couple sledge hammers to the head. He lived, but went crazy shortly after.

3) Driving to Amsterdamn in a car with 3 other people at 2AM (10 hour drive). Deer came across the street (I was sleeping) and in an attempt to avoid it, the driver hit the deer. I just heard the driver scream and woke up to the car doing 360s and seeing dirt fly everywhere. When we came to a stop, we all got out of the car to assess whatever damage was done. People were shook up and when I did the inital walk-around, I noticed that after doing 1 or 2 360s in the dirt, we came to a stop about 5 feet from the edge of a cliff (there were rail guards, but still... scary).

4) Lost count of the number of near-misses on my motorcycle due to inattentive drivers.
 

kyfe

TRIBE Member
1) Almost drowned in Mexico (caught underwater between waves coming in and a wicked undertow). Last year.
.
Oh yes I forgot about that one as well, similar experience came to underwater after hitting my head on the ocean floor in the spin cycle. 20 mins to stumble 200ft back to shore
 

Fillmore

TRIBE Member
My closest to near death would have been when I was 17 years old. I remember it was a cold and bitter winter night as we house party hopped our way through Queens Campus in Kingston. I was with a group of 8 guys and our mission was to get wasted and try and meet some university girls.
Around midnight, the party we were at got busted by police and considering we were all underage, we took off and headed for downtown Kingston to try and sneak into the bars. We totally failed as expected.

One of the guys in our crew lived on Wolf Island. If you do not know Kingston, its a 20min ferry ride from downtown kingston out to Wolf Island. The ferry itself has a capacity of 20 cars and x-amount of people. Our friend invited us all out to the island to drink more and crash at his place. We all decided to hop on the last ferry of the night (1am). We were causing too much of a ruckus inside the ferry so we were politely asked to stand outside along the rails on the second level. (second level had benches and chairs)

One of my buddies grabbed my new UNLV hate and pretends to throw it over board. Me being the drunk 17 year old idiot I was, decided I was going to get it back. I climbed over the railing and just as I was about to push off and jump into the water some old man grabbed my hands and I was pulled back over to the safe side where my buddy was kind enough to give me my hat back.
When the ferry came to a stop at the dock we all took more shit than I think has ever been dealt to anyone. Worst part was, we were all too hammered to understand the seriousness of what happened.

The next day my parents took me back to the ferry office to apologize for our behavior and if there was anything I could do, my parents were offering my services. Essentially I was told I would have likely been sucked under the ferry and would have drown or froze in the frigid water.

 

sianspherica

TRIBE Member
Bike accident. Summer 2007.

Crossing Lakeshore at Bathurst, stopped at the median by Fleet Street, it was like 11pm, I didn't see ANY traffic coming either way on Lakeshore, took a few pedals forward to get to south side of Lakeshore, turn to my left and see a mini-van completely about to hit me, managed to pedal forward just enough that the car hit the back wheel and not me dead-centre. Had bike gloves on, gripped onto the bike as hard as possible and me and the bike went sideways and spinning like a top a good 15 feet into the middle of Lakeshore. Beyond a few bruises and scrapes I was fine. Driver's front bumper got a bit fucked from the impact, but he was a Saint who stopped, helped me up, threw me and the bike into his car and drove me to my Girlfriend's house, he called me the next day to see if I was ok. Bike was aluminum and got bent enough that it was toast, the frame was irrepairable.

If I didn't manage to make that one pedal forward to the back wheel to take the impact of the car, I'm sure I would have been thrown fully off the bike.

Got very lucky there were no other cars on Lakeshore too.

It was extremely stupid, and I got extremely lucky.
 

WestsideWax

TRIBE Promoter
I think some people are confusing "close call" with "near death".

I've had a couple of occasions where I've nearly left my body, but the details are too personal for me to post them on the interwebs. The end result of the experiences were polar opposites, though - one was complete darkness, no awareness, nothing. The other was nothing but white and no "me" to speak of - I was aware of existence, but there was no physicality whatsoever. No up, down, forward, backward, just endless white, of which I was an inextricable part.
 
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R4V4G3D_SKU11S

TRIBE Member
I think some people are confusing "close call" with "near death".

I've had a couple of occasions where I've nearly left my body, but the details are too personal for me to post them on the interwebs.
Wordup on both counts, but I only have one experience. I don't remember any of it though.
 

Fillmore

TRIBE Member
I think some people are confusing "close call" with "near death".
Does it really matter on a social networking website in a single thread? If people want to share their stories, let it be. I get that yours seems more "near death" than others but its not fair to discount their story based on your personal opinion. In their eyes, maybe they were close enough for the individual to feel as though it was near death experience over a close call.

my two cents....carry on.
 

WestsideWax

TRIBE Promoter
Just because it's a social networking website does that mean there's no room for accuracy? I didn't single out any one post in particular, I didn't infer that my experience was any closer to death than anyone else's, nor am I attempting to dissuade others from sharing their stories - I was simply pointing out that there is a difference.

I once witnessed someone drunkenly fall off a boat and receive a 3/4" deep gash across the back of their neck from hitting the underside of the craft as it moved over them. Some stitches and a few hours later, they were somewhat nervously laughing it off with friends. While this was a very close call - the propeller *could* have severed an artery, and they *could* easily have drowned - at no time were they anywhere near death.

So yeah, it does kind of matter.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-death_experience
 
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kyfe

TRIBE Member
Just because it's a social networking website does that mean there's no room for accuracy? I didn't single out any one post in particular, I didn't infer that my experience was any closer to death than anyone else's, nor am I attempting to dissuade others from sharing their stories - I was simply pointing out that there is a difference.

I once witnessed someone drunkenly fall off a boat and receive a 3/4" deep gash across the back of their neck from hitting the underside of the craft as it moved over them. Some stitches and a few hours later, they were somewhat nervously laughing it off with friends. While this was a very close call - the propeller *could* have severed an artery, and they *could* easily have drowned - at no time were they anywhere near death.

So yeah, it does kind of matter.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-death_experience
So where is the wiki link for close call?
 

erika

TRIBE Member
Does it really matter on a social networking website in a single thread? If people want to share their stories, let it be. I get that yours seems more "near death" than others but its not fair to discount their story based on your personal opinion. In their eyes, maybe they were close enough for the individual to feel as though it was near death experience over a close call.

my two cents....carry on.
I think westside wax is being more specifc because one implies (at least to me) a reaction that is more than physical.
I've had a couple of close calls (car accident).

I also head a near death and did leave my body. Prefer not to do that again.
 

NemIsis

TRIBE Member
To be fair, if we were to narrow the criteria to 'out of the body experiences' with 'near death', I'd think this thread would last maybe 4 posts.

Near death is an individual experience. Who is to say what is 'near death' and what is your mind just trying to make sense of it all? It's not like we have someone around to quantify this in any sort of test.

When I was 10, I fell down and hit my head. I blacked out. During this time I seemed to see from above. I saw my principal pick me up and take me down the stairs and into the bathroom. I saw him put me in a seated position with my head between my knees, and then I woke up. He told me what happened.

I 'remembered' this 2 hours later. Hit me like a flash. Out of body experience? perhaps. "Near death? uh NO... or perhaps, more so, that my eyes were open, and my mind was putting things together in a bizarre fashion as I was unconscious,.. and just trying to make sense of it (Much like dreaming).

I don't think the 'close calls' above are any less valid.
 
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NemIsis

TRIBE Member
I believe that when you think you are close death, your mind tries to make sense of it, and it floods your thoughts with images. There isn't a physical on/off switch (in that you have to be 'dead' to feel this).

It doesn't matter if you are truly dead, or close to death, or just a close call, it's how your mind perceives it.
 
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I_bRAD

TRIBE Member
My closest call was actually in a hospital, but I saved myself through dumb luck.

I'd just had major surgery and was hooked up to a IV pump giving me a steady stream of Dilaudid. I had a major tolerance to opiates at the time, but all day I was seeing double and having trouble functioning, which wasn't normal for me. Also normally, I'd have been hitting the "extra dose" button as often as it would have let me but this day I didn't even bother. Kept up like that all day and then that evening I was trying to read a book and couldn't focus. I got pissed off and hit the "stop" button on the medicine pump in order to go back to my book and then promptly passed out.

So I "wake up" at some point late at night with a nurse standing by telling me that they'd had a bit of a hard time waking me up. The guy sharing the room with me told me after the nurse left that "a bit of a hard time" was a major understatement. Think the scene in pulp fiction in Eric stotz' living room. Turns out that what they thought was 1mg/ml was actually 5 so I was getting 5 times the dose I was supposed to be getting (which was a very high dose anyhow due to my tolerance) If I hadn't have impulsively stopped the machine I likely wouldn't have woken up again.
 

WestsideWax

TRIBE Promoter
To be fair, if we were to narrow the criteria to 'out of the body experiences' with 'near death', I'd think this thread would last maybe 4 posts.
Nothing in this thread indicating that to be the only criteria, not even the linked wikipedia entry.

I also head a near death and did leave my body. Prefer not to do that again.
Odds would dictate that you might have to, at some point down the line... ;)
 
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