Lucky to Be Alive
In Malta, the small island I come from,
summers are usually hot and dry and the month of June 2007 was no exception.
My friend phoned me up suggesting we head down to the beach for a swim
to relax and cool down a bit. I wasn’t really in the mood for that
but on second thoughts I decided to follow. Little did I know what
was in store for me!!!
On arrival at the sandy beach, my friend literally
jumped into the water, but I decided to sunbathe a little bit before getting
into the sea. She started calling me to join her, but I realised
that the wind was slightly increasing its speed and this was creating waves,
so I was very cautious, I just sat down in the shallow water instead of
heading out to the deeper water.
Suddenly, a wave that was about half a meter
in height rocked me back and forth on the spot, I never thrust the sea
so alarmed, I decided to go back onshore. That was the worst idea
I could think of, because on standing up, a higher wave hurdled in and
pulled me out at sea.
Now the waves were very high, about 2 meters
and my survival instinct took over and I started struggling to swim ashore.
Instead of swimming, towards the shore, the high waves dragged me out and
from the point I was at I couldn’t see neither land nor anyone around.
I think I must have been dragged about a mile out at sea, and this was
just the beginning.
The waves were now of enormous height and the
wind increasing rapidly and panic took over me. I am a good swimmer
as I used to train aquatic sports and I also have Life Saving At Sea Courses
and a member of the St. John Ambulance Brigade so, I was supposed to be
trained, but at that moment in time, anything I knew felt useless.
I started crying, shouting and panicking…I felt
I was going to die and it seemed to me a terrible death. At that
very moment, something took over and I sort of ‘regained my senses’ I was
full of courage and decided that I couldn’t give up on my life now.
So I started counting the waves and calculating their speed. The
sea must have been force 8 or 9. First I didn’t manage and the sea
was pulling me out again, so I started to dive into the waves and using
my strength towards the current buy diving.
Somehow, my strategy was working and after a
grueling 45minutes out at sea, I made it to the shore. On swimming in,
I could hear people shouting and an ambulance was being called. To
this day, I can’t figure out how I managed to arrive back on land.
My strength was gone, my mind blanked out, so for sure it must have been
the hand of God. At least, that’s what the witnesses told me. That
day, in the same rough sea and at the same beach, a life was lost, so I
must have been either lucky or had an extra helping hand from up above.
You decide, I think I already know.
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