I was swimming in the sea at a beach in St. Tropez with my brother. I swam out to get my brother, who was snorkeling at the time, to tell him it was time to get out. By the time I had reached him, I was very tired and turned to swim back in again. I started to really struggle and came to a point where it was impossible for me to swim any more. I tried to stand but the water was too deep. I attempted to stay above water but this just resulted in me inhaling a lot of seawater. At this point, I was extremely frightened, panicked, and struggling. As I started to sink to the bottom, I felt myself being held and lowered to the seabed.
Suddenly everything went white. There wasn't a tunnel, music, or anything like that, just a blanket of white light. The white light was as if you were to look directly at the sun. I felt as if I was gently laid down on the seabed. Then I felt surrounded in an invisible cloak of safety and serenity. It was the most peaceful feeling I had ever, and have had to this day, felt. I knew I was safe. Then I felt a horrible jolt as someone grabbed my arm. All of a sudden, the water felt extremely cold and I started to feel the same original panic as I felt the cloak slipping off me. A woman pulled me out of the water and I started breathing again. I was really annoyed at the woman, as if she had just woken me from a peaceful sleep - only ten times worse.
I have no idea how long I had stopped breathing for or how long I had been under the water. My mum told me that she couldn't see me in the water for fifteen minutes before hand, but I don't know if that was just because she couldn't see me or because I was under the water. When I left the water, I felt cold and I was shaking but I was still thinking about everything that happened under the water.
Date NDE Occurred: July 2004
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident drowning 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I was drowning.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
I lost awareness of my body
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Less consciousness and alertness than normal When I felt myself landing on the seabed.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I felt myself landing on the seabed.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Complete loss of time.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. All I could see was a white light.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I can't remember what I heard.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes My whole field of vision was filled with a white light, as if I was staring directly at the sun.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? At complete ease, peaceful, serene, all and safe.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? incredible joy
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
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? Scenes from the world's future
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
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Moderate catholic
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes Universal order, the world at peace.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The experience isn't hard to express in words due to some psychological block. it is hard to describe in words the feeling of warmth and complete serenity.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain There have been definite times when I felt I thought something was going to happen and it did or that I would randomly think of a person I hadn't seen in a while and I would meet them somewhere unexpected.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes One or two years.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I thought about it all the time and couldn't rationalize anything about it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I know it was real.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No