Never Underestimate an Undertow

Discussion in 'Survival Stories' started by Aneye4theshot, Jan 24, 2016.

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  1. Aneye4theshot

    Aneye4theshot Expert Member

    Blog Posts:
    No matter how good of a swimmer you are the potential is there for something bad to happen in the water and before you know it you could end up in the situation where you are drowning. Growing up in Florida I was a very avid swimmer, snorkeler, and lover of water sports. On many occasions, I was referred to as a fish because well you could not keep me out of the water. On one of these occasions the water almost got me and I came close to drowning. The time I almost drowned I was surfing. It was in the Gulf of Mexico where waves are not very common to get big. We were experiencing one of the three or four times a year that four-foot or five-foot breaker waves would come in and break on sure. These waves were a blast for local kids but also very dangerous at the same time.
    On one of these waves, I ended up getting body slammed basically on the ocean floor which was only about 3 foot deep. However timing was impeccable on this one, and I was hammered by one wave after the next. Barely being able to grab a breath of air each time I came up my surfboard and I ended up caught in an undertow. I was drug along the bottom of the ocean floor with my fingers in the sand, and there was nothing I could do about it I tried not to panic and hold my breath though fear was engulfed in my body. Then by sheer luck, I felt a jolt and was pulled upward. My surfboard leash and surfboard had become wrapped around a boat marker for the sandbar on the beach. A jet ski that was out enjoying the waves saw this and came to my rescue. The only thing that saved me in this instance was wearing my safety equipment and doing my best not to panic and hold my breath each time that I could get one.
  2. Dave3006

    Dave3006 Active Member

    Blog Posts:
    I can't surf (never tried), but I had swam out in the ocean, pas the markers. I was in about 8 feet of water. Then all of a sudden, I was standing in water about my waist. I heard the wave coming. It ground me on the sandpaper-like bottom. I thought it would never quit. I started swimming towards the marker when the same thing happened. Being sandpapered is not fun. When the wave ceased I started swimming towards the marker. Again I was blasted, but this time I was getting sucked back out with the wave/undertow. I was determined to make it. That marker had seemed to vanish. I started swimming towards the buildings that I could see. Smashed again, but not sucked out. I swam more and the waves were smaller. Then I saw a marker where I rested. I could see the people on the beach and no heavy waves. After the rest, I swam to shore.

    The ocean itself saved me. I didn't panic, but I wondered what ship would pick me up in the ocean. :) When I got to shore, I was about 1/2 mile from where our group was. I was exhausted and thanked God that his creation saved me. I wasn't thankful to much for the ocean beating me up. The group was going swimming. I watched since I was so tired. Then to the condo rooms to shower and watch the ocean.

    I have been swimming and I loved swimming. But the markers are out for a reason.
  3. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist

    Blog Posts:
    Been swept out to sea three times, bloody long swim back each time.
    Got dumped by a tsunami big time but lucky with my location!
    and got towed 1km out to sea by a huge yellowtail kingfish, fish won as my spear finally dislodged!
    Bit by shark when I pulled its tail! Dumb!
    Stung by dozens of bluebottles, damn lucky I was not allergic or far from shore!
    and cat5 cyclone in little boat for three days
    That's my wet adventures so far!

    OOps missed one
    Stalked by a great white while spearfishing, I did not see it while in the water and wondered what the tourists were waving at!
    Finished the dive and climbed out on to the rocks, tourists bombarded me with gestures and questions but I had no idea until they pointed out the bloody great fin cruising where I had just been!
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  4. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist

    Blog Posts:
    Sounds like a little more rough water skill was needed!
    Common tourist mistake around here! keeps the lifeguards busy!

    Always face the waves, dive under not through but be quick, waves usually come in sets of three with a small break in between but not always!
    Tread water to drift with the current and swim properly with legs up when you swim!
    Don't panic, if caught in a rip swim across it not against it
  5. acheno84

    acheno84 Member

    Blog Posts:
    Man, that's scary! The undertow is no joke. Living in Florida, many beaches actually have signs that are posted to remind tourists and locals of the dangers of the undertow and to always be aware of where they are swimming and how far out they go. I rarely hit the beach when the waves are big, only because I'm very fearful of drowning, although I am a great swimmer. Learning the patterns of the water and the waves will definitely help others. I'm sorry to hear that you had such a scary experience but I'm glad you are ok! Be careful out there :)
  6. Cara

    Cara New Member

    Blog Posts:
    I don't live out by an ocean but there is a large lake where I live and a river runs through the lake so the lake holds a current. Many people aren't aware and are unprepared even though there are signs posted by the loading docks. People have jumped into the lake without a life jacket and have been pulled under. There have been several drownings due to this. Now the current is stronger in some areas than others but you still need to be prepared.
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