Ely L NDE

Experience Description


I was sailing with my wife and son. It was his first time out and my wife was showing him what to do. I was going to tack but she forgot to release the line. The sailboat capsized. There was a sailboat race going on so the safety boat came over to help right us. I hooked on a line and he pulled the boat upright but the line my wife had forgotten to release was still hooked and it went over again. There were twenty-five knot winds out that day. I went over to release the line so they could right it again, but I got caught in some lines and the boat kept going over.


I couldn't get loose and I couldn't hold my breath any longer so I just gave up. All of a sudden, a peace came over me and I was outside the boat looking towards my son. The safety asked if he could see me, and he said, 'No.' I was next at the front of the boat looking at the safety boat with my wife in it, and I watched as they pulled the boat upright again. As the boat came upright I was suddenly back in it on top of the lines. I raised my head up, looked at them, and unlocked the sail that was locked.


They towed the boat in and told me to go sit down, as I looked extremely pale. I was very weak. My wife had terminal cancer so I never told her what had happened. She was very upset that I might have gone first. I was directly in my son's line of vision when he looked at the boat searching for me, and I was in plain sight for all three people in the safety boat when they asked my son. It wasn't until later that I realized that the peace was that I wasn't getting any stimulus from my body and I wasn't breathing until I raised my head when they righted the boat. I saw no tunnel, light, or past family members. I have always been sensitive with visions in dreams and awake.

Background Information:

Gender: Male

Date NDE Occurred: Aug. 1991

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident I was tangled in some lines on my sailboat. It went down taking me with it. I couldn't hold my breath any longer so I gave up.I couldn't hold my breath and I just gave up.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Positive

The experience included: Out of body experience

Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I was floating in the lake. I could see my hands but the rest of me was underwater.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Very alert. I saw and heard everything but couldn't seem to speak. I was in full sight of everyone but no one saw me.

Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning Well I was first at the side of my boat, then I was in front of it with no time lapse at all.

Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I heard everything said and all incidental sounds; birds, waves on the boats, sails rustling, wind. All normal sounds. Even the water, but it was different somehow.

Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No

Did you see an unearthly light? No

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No

The experience included: Special Knowledge

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe That I wasn't supposed to go then. Now this was a feeling that just seemed to be at the time. I have no idea how I got that though at all, it seemed more like a memory than anything else.

Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control

Did scenes from the future come to you? No

Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will I just knew that it wasn't my time to go. But in all fairness at the time I thought I had gotten loose from the ropes until when the boat righted up I was it the boat and still was in the lines.

God, Spiritual and Religion:

What was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate protestant

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I no longer fear death. I know now that there is something out there and we are meant to go there. A very peaceful and serene place.

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? No

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The peace I felt was terrific, I have never been as calm as I was in the water, but after the boat was righted I felt extremely drained and weak. It was all I could do to go up and sit on a bench while they put my boat on the rack.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes My sister said that it must not have been my time and maybe my wife who died in 1993 needed me there. My friends that I sailed with just gasped. I told them about what happened two years after my wife died. They were there and saw me afterwards, and had talked to the people in the safety boat.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No