Experience Description

I was in Costa Rica with close relatives and friends. Snorkeling in the water after spending the day at the secluded beach, which seemed surreal and nearly perfect. I jumped at the chance to go out on the airboat (small, utility-type) and somewhat shrugged off the need for flippers, bringing only a mask. I was on the boat with Esteban, a nice guy in his twenties I believe, also a native Costa Rican to the best of my knowledge and an avid surfer.

Also on the boat was a very attractive woman in her twenties or early thirties who I sympathized greatly with on the trip right off the bat. Her brother is a professional skateborder, so she actually knew quite a few pros, including Tony Hawk. (My close friend is now possibly the top amateur skateborder in the world right now and actually had a short interview in Sports Illustrated that also featured Tony Hawk, who in the eyes of many is the most well-known pro skateborder in the world.)

The third person on our boat was Kevin, operating the boat, who worked for my uncle. Esteban and I both had been drinking moderately on the beach. As we cruised in the boat, Esteban, who had a relationship with the woman, joked casually about pushing her into the water. She, however, took it seriously and did not appreciate the humor very much. On our way back to shore, Esteban and I decided to snorkel on our own, neither of us having flippers. We eventually separated from each other and soon were around twenty to thirty feet apart.

Looking for bigger fish, I swam towards some rocks that stuck about ten to fifteen feet out of the water. Once near them, I realized that I should have trusted my intuition. I was soon stuck in the suction of water that normally happens near a rock formation such as this. As I looked up at them treading water, I recalled a story my mother and sister had told me of a young man in my position who was injured severely trying to climb up rocks half this size. So, I tried to swim away from them.

All of the sudden, I realized how tired I was after drinking and being at the beach for the last several hours. I soon became short of breath, which made floating with my head in the water using the snorkel for breathing out of the question. (I tried using it for what seemed like minutes to no success). I was becoming frantic. As I tried desperately to swim to shore, waves hit my face. I was submerged completely several times, taking in substantial amounts of seawater. The times that I could, I screamed "Esteban, get the boat!", and perhaps other things.

Although the sequence of my experience is sketchy, I remember being underwater as past images and experiences flashed before my eyes and in my mind. While I was under, I saw what I figured at the time was the sun. As my knowledge of NDEs grew, however, I began to believe that was the image of a bright, yellow, centralized light. I also vaguely remember seeing myself in the water, but I am not positive of this. Before I knew it, I was being helped into the boat by who I remember to be Kevin, who had picked up Esteban before me. Dazed, we were brought back to the beach. I was lying in the sand for several minutes, dumbfounded about my experience. I also recall Esteban, who was of few words; say that he had nearly drowned as well.

Since then, many things have happened that I believe to be related to this, including my cousins giving me a birthday gift, that following September. It was a picture taken of me with several people in the distance behind me, on that same beach that day, running jokingly in the shallow water. I had nearly forgotten about the picture before they gave it to me, but I vividly remember when it was taken. At the top of the picture, which was framed, were words in script-like font, in white, which are in the sky, that say in all lowercase 'prancing into manhood'. I had no part in creating this caption. My mother's sister's daughters created it, both of which I have been close to since I was an infant.

Background Information:

Gender: Male

Date NDE Occurred: August 2001

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain mild drinking (3-5 drinks) Life threatening event, but not clinical death Snorkeling in middle of day, tired.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Positive

Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain I might have seen it.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Tired.

Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No

The experience included: Presence of deceased persons

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

The experience included: Light

Did you see an unearthly light? Yes Bright, yellow, centralized.

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Hopelessness and hope, fear of death but also acceptance.

Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control No knowledge of details.

Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future Now yes, then no.

God, Spiritual and Religion:

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Social, intellectual, and emotional.

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Some uncertainties, it happened very fast.

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes A book by a NDE specialist Dr. Melvin Morse which helped me to communicate with my deceased father.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I almost died, but I have gained spiritual and self-knowledge.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain Marijuana and alcohol.

Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? My whole life has changed because of it.

Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I would like to speak with personnel in order to elaborate on my experience.