Northwestern College, Evanston, IL Sponsored-Sailing Nationals, Top 10 schools in town for the event. Water temp. was 41 degrees, snow on the ground. The mood was intense and the elements were tough. Our boat capsized: 'A Flying Junior' small craft, sloop rigging, two man operation. As the captain, I attempted to recover the boat from flipping and in doing so, I was tossed underneath the sail as the vessel capsized. (Personal floatation devices were present and being used by both of us.) Garments were not selected for submerging, only for the air elements. Time was of essence but not on my side. After 9 quick minutes of persistence, maneuvering became difficult. My limbs seized, my chest grew tight my efforts were useless. Time was now about 14 minutes: the water got warm...bright flowers glowed in front of my vision, soon after covered by a frost-like haze. I pushed out a softly spoken 'Help' only for myself to hear.
At the next moment...'She has no pulse, she's a led weight, start counting!1!2!3!4....I watched and heard a woman in a orange jacket, letters on her back, US Coast Guard was talking to me, for a brief moment.
Arriving at the boathouse I was jostled and at that moment I started hearing people talk again.
2 years later I took a class in college, Death & Dying, where I was asked if I had experienced any near death situations. My instructor informed me that I had an out of body experience, as if I was unconscious, I wouldn't have seen or heard anything, much less looking down on a woman's back to see lettering on her orange jacket.
Date NDE Occurred: 11/24/1983
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Clinical death
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
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Some to none and back.
The experience included: Light
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? intense power, serenity
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Uncertain
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Conservative/fundamentalist very little belief in religion, excepting of family's views
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist I have found my spiritual direction
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I've come to believe that everyone need a higher power to exist. Mine is internal. When I spoke of help, I was talking to my soul to give me the adrenalin to fight back
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No Hypothermia, Cardiac exhaust, unconscious for about 49 seconds
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Realizing later what occurred and slipping back to that point in time and see it happening for the first time and making sense.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Shock but respect that my words were my truths.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Everything happens for a reason. I am still a great sailor!