What is the closest you’ve came to dying?

HatorianHatorian Dagobah
edited November 2017 in General
I was about 3-6 inches from drowning to death. one summer in Wisconsin I went to my buddy’s cabin with him. I forgot my swim trunks so decided to just use normal shorts. Bad idea. I tried to swim to a island in the middle of a lake and realised I didn’t have the stamina about halfway and the shorts were really dragging on me and causing me to use my energy. I struggled and decided to turn 90 degrees to head for the shoreline. Literally my instincts kicked in at the exact right time as I realised I needed to abort. As I started to head back I couldn’t even just swim and had to flip over to float and rest a bit to gain some strength but that was still causing me to spend energy. As I got closer to the shoreline I really started to struggle and my muscles were giving up. At this point I had no choice but to kick off my shorts and go naked as it was just too much weight. I started to panick thinking I wasn’t going to make it which made it worse because I used more energy trying to get to the shoreline. I was completely spent and feeling like I was going to drown and still probably 10-20 yards from the shoreline, right then my body gave up and I went under. Scariest thought ever as I really thoght this was it. but my tippy toe touched the bottom and was just enough to keep my head afloat. I then had to walk back in waist deep water naked where my buddy’s mom and aunts were sitting on the deck. 

Scariest and most embarrassing moment in my life. I really think if I wouldn’t have touched bottom there I would have drowned. I had nothing left. And it wasn’t funny being naked in front of my friends family til they got me a towel. 


  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    edited November 2017
    @Hatorian - Did those shorts have lead sewed into them?! I don't mean to tease, that sounds horrific.

    Closest I came to dying was during a 4-day hike over the Andes mountains to Machu Picchu in 2013.

    It was late at night when we arrived at the campsite on the 3rd day, so I didn't have any idea of the surrounding area. PItch black. My 2 friends and I stood waiting outside a toilet at about 10pm, with a 3am wake time, and there were 2 men just pooping their guts out in the 2 squat toilets available, situated up against a mountain wall. You could see their feet, you could hear them... they were grunting, farting, snorting, there was no end in sight. Well, I realized anyone going #1 was probably just relieving themselves in the woods, like we'd been doing the whole hike. You carry your used toilet paper with you. So I thought, "Fuck it," and went to pee NEXT to the 2 toilets behind a couple of garbage cans. I thought there'd be foilage back there, but it was just the stone wall and stone floor. My friends were not impressed that I was doing this, but they averted their flashlights and their gaze. About 5 seconds in, there was someone with a flashlight coming down the trail. I hurried up as quickly as I could and stepped back next to my friends as though nothing had happened and I still needed to pee. I did NOT want to be caught with my literal pants down...

    Well, unfortunately my friend was VERY annoyed I was doing this to her, and she turned her flashlight OFF so I couldn't easily see where she was. Or maybe she didn't want to be associated with me? So when I thought I was making a step to plant myself next to her, what I actually did was step off the edge of the mountain. There were some plants and I whished right through them.

    Mind you, earlier that day I had crested the top of a mountain on a narrow pathway with a deadly drop. And many paths on that trek had deadly drops 5-10 feet away from you. 

    So I thought, "Oh that's not good." Then I thought, "I have no idea how far I'm going to fall." 

    Fortunately I slammed into a stone surface about 10-15 feet down. I landed on my right thigh. On a path. About 2 feet above and below me were stone steps, but I'd landed on gravel, a flat surface, thank God. My friends were able to backtrack and find their way down to me. And I was able to finish the trek. Perfect weather, we lucked out.

    I guess I wasn't really close to dying. Luck was in my favor. But I thought I was fucked at one point, and my friends certainly thought I was, screaming for me until I mustered the breath to sigh in pain. "JAIMIE?! Are you okay?!" "Euhhhhghhhhhh." 

    My thigh still hurts today. "It will never really heal" - Lord of the Rings, which is appropriate since I felt like fucking Frodo and Sam the whole time, I was so miserable re: the physical exertion. I used to have a picture of the bruise, which was EPIC, but I don't know where it is... 
  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    edited November 2017

    the shorts were pretty baggy and the cloth they were made of was like cargo shorts cloth. So they were pretty heavy. 

    When i I was like 7 my family went on a horse riding hike up some mountains/hills in Tennessee. Being a kid my horse was strapped to one of the guide’s horse but I remember the horse would would walk right on the edge of the trail (trail wasn’t wide) with almost 2 of it’s hooves like an inch from the edge. And the drop was far, I remember just being able to lean over and see nothing but along empty drop to nothing. If that horse literally took one wrong step i would have plunged at least 100 yards down. most likely would have took the guide and his horse with us too.
  • I kicked my pinky toe into a table leg once
  • ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
    Oct. 13, 2001.. when Jeremy Giambi didn't slide
  • CretanBullCretanBull Toronto
    edited November 2017
    When I was a little kid, maybe 7 or 8, my house was on top of a small hill and there was a park across the street from us. It was a smaller town and there wasn't much traffic on our street.  I got into the habit of flying out of my front door, running down the hill, taking a quick look for oncoming traffic (there almost never was any) and zipping across the road to the park.  One day I forgot to look both ways and didn't notice a car until I was half-way across the street.  I froze and 'like a deer caught in the headlights' just stood there and waited for the car to hit me.  It stopped literally inches away from me...when it stopped, without moving my feet I reached out and touched the front grill of the car and just starting balling my eyes out.  The sound of my mum screaming still haunts me to this day.

  • I took some anti depressants wrong and the next morning my heart was beating incredibly fast. I also had a bleeding in my brain when I was born. 
  • MichelleMichelle California
    When I was around 10 I came upon a rattlesnake as I was leaving our mountain property/campsite (walking from our property to our family friends' next to us).  It was coiled, rattling, and hissing, and about 10 feet away from me (maybe a little more but not much more).  I froze and yelled as loudly as I could, "RATTLESNAKE!!!!"   My father and his buddy jumped up from their morning coffee, grabbed their guns, and ran to me at top speed - I don't think I've seen someone run that fast.  My dad grabbed me and pulled me aside while his buddy shot its head off.   To this day I cannot stand snakes of any kind, and have a slight phobia that I will come across one again if I ever go camping again someday.  It was scary stuff for a 10 year old me!
  • edited December 2017
  • When I was a kid (9-10 I think) we had a cherry tree in our backyard and I loved to climb on it. Now, if you don't know, cheery trees don't have the regular grippy kind of bark; it's really smooth and shiny. But I was still quite confident going up all the time, until I once slipped. I don't remember how high I was on the tree, but pretty high. On the way down my chin hit a limb full force, then I landed on my back with a huge thud. And I couldn't breathe. I tried to, but just couldn't. I wanted to yell for my mom, I turned my head toward the house and saw her through the window, I wanted to scream, but no sound came out, just a barely audible whimper. I was struggling for air and my vision started to go dark, and I absolutely thought this is it, I'm going to die, and my mom's gonna look out the window and see my dead body there. Several minutes passed, and I think I might've started blacking out, when all of a sudden I could finally take the biggest breath of my life. My jaw was still swollen and bruised for weeks after that from the hit.
    I don't know if it was from shock or what that I couldn't breathe, but it was insanely terrifying, choking out in the open air, and thinking I'm dying.
  • Hemoglobin levels dropped below 6 (this was from 8.x when I was admitted a day earlier). Had to take multiple units of blood. That or the time I hit a large puddle when I was young and narrowly missed hitting a car only to slam into a metal utility pole (the reflection in the road hid how bad the “puddle” was so I lost control of my truck). 
  • Chinaski said:
    Oct. 13, 2001.. when Jeremy Giambi didn't slide
    Oct. 16 2003 ... Aaron Fucking Boone
  • When I was 14 or 15 I went out to by best friends family ranch, spent the day riding ATVs around the property. Decided to race across a pasture, I was in the lead when I went down into a stock tank that was being dug out (basically a 100 ft wide dirt bowl). Did not slow down, launched out the other side (I don't remember this). My friend says I hit the ground and the ATV rolled over me while I skidded on the ground. I was not wearing a helmet, but I did have some goggles on. I think they saved my eye, I've got a huge Harry Potter scar from a rock on my forehead that ends where the goggles began (they were trashed). Ended up in the ER with a concussion and some bad abrasions, but no broken bones! I'll have to try to track down the photo of my friend smiling over my unconscious body it the ER, it's a classic
  • Near accident - was driving on a bridge where the speed limit is 45 but people (including me tbh) regularly drive 60 or higher.  No barrier in the middle and traffic went opposite directions at freeway speeds (there is a barrier now, this was a few years ago).  Traffic was pretty steady but moving fast.  I was in the left lane, and a truck  coming the opposite direction swerved all the way over into my lane. We were headed right towards each other and I was hitting my brakes and horn but there was no way to avoid the collision and his truck was much bigger than my car and he was going full speed.  The truck swerved back into its lane at pretty much the last possible second.  I had to pull over as soon as I could to stop shaking and calm down.  Not really a near death experience since nothing physically happened to me, but I had a moment where I was sure I was a goner.  Definitely left an impresssion.
  • Alkaid13Alkaid13 Georgia
    edited November 2017
    Probably the time I was face to face with a wild Cottonmouth when I was 5, really got to see why they were called Cottonmouths. 
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    @Reni - I remember thinking about my dead body too, just lying on a cliffside. I didn't have much time to think either. It's weird how frank and unattached those thoughts were (for me).
  • WonderedObjectWonderedObject SAN Francisco, CA
    I was on a roller coaster and my restraint unlatched while I was almost hanging upside down. Yeah, haven't been on that ride since. 
  • emnofseattleemnofseattle Mason County, Washington USA
    One night I was driving home from work, just to add drama, I wasn't even supposed to work that day, I agreed to some overtime because someone called in sick, and I'm getting on to the freeway in South Seattle and this on ramp from S Spokane Street to I-5 South, to paint the picture, is a long sweeping curve and once it straightens you're directly on the freeway, ok now what happened? So as I'm clearing the curve at 40mph which is the posted caution speed my rear wheels lost traction and now my pickup was spinning in circles across the travel lanes of the freeway and I remember seeing headlights of a vehicle about to come through my driver side door, at the last minute that car switch lanes, I finally managed to regain control and coasted to a stop with the vehicle facing the wrong way in the middle lane of I-5. Fortunately it was 1am so not a lot of traffic and I pulled to the shoulder and got off the freeway going the wrong way on an on ramp. I ended up hanging out at work another hour to calm down then went home with no incident 
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    Wow. It's hard to like anything on this fucking thread. Not much funny or insightful either. 
  • LucasLucas Milwaukee
    I lived in India for over a year in a very remote part of the country.  And we nearly got into accidents with big trucks weekly.  If you get injured to the point where bleeding for 7 hours until you get to a hospital is going to be a problem, you wouldn't make it.  The project I was a part of only lasted for about 7 years but several people unfortunately didn't make it home from accidents over there, so every-time I come back from India I feel like I made it back from a potentially deadly situation.
  • When I was 4 years old my family visited the Grand Canyon. We pulled into the parking area, and when I got out of the car I saw a squirrel mean-mugging me. I took off after it with reckless abandon, and when it shot under the fence separating you from the edge of the canyon, I naturally crawled over to continue the chase. I ran up to the edge and looked down trying to see where it went and then my Grandfather grabbed me and carried me back to my family. 

    I'm not really sure how close I actually was to dying, but in every photo we have from that day my mom is crying. 
  • ThomasThomas North Carolina
    My second firefight, about a week into my first deployment, we had just finished a high altitude night climb when some guys flipped open a camouflaged tarp to a cave entrance and opened up with RPKs.  I was so tired from the climb that when the rounds struck all around me I didn't even roll behind cover.  My roommate was in front of me and he got hit by 7 bullets, not one of which actually cut through his body.  They hit his helmet, knocking him unconscious, and the other 6 cut through his clothes/equipment.  He is 5' 7" and I am 6' 5," would have torn me up.  His face was hilarious though when he regained consciousness.
  • JaimieT said:
    Wow. It's hard to like anything on this fucking thread. Not much funny or insightful either. 
    Yea, I’m not liking what happened but just liking that people are sharing their stories. 
  • edited November 2017
    I was 13 and hunting deer in rural Nevada. 

    My friend and I were out riding quads on the trails. There were forest fires in the area recently and we came across this flat, burned-out area. We decide to race across it. We are neck and neck, and about halfway across the field my friend starts to slow down. I turn my head to look back at him, and then as I look forward I crash perpendicularly into a barbed wire fence. I was probably going around 30 mph. The next few seconds were a blur, but the top wire caught me by the stomach and flung me off the quad and backwards ~10 feet. My quad crashed through and broke the bottom 2 wires.

    I walked away from the crash. My left arm was hit by the top wire where a barb was, so it was torn up with deep cuts that I still have scars from. I was also about to shift up when the wire caught me, so, since my foot was under the shifter, my foot ripped the shifter straight off. When my dad went to retrieve the quad, they had to push start it in 3rd gear.

    Usually when a person crashes straight into a wire, neck injury or decapitation occurs. The only thing that saved my life was a gun rack bolted on the handlebars of the quad. The rack was fastened down tight as hell, and the top wire caught on the rack, bent it all the way back 90 degrees, and then it snapped off the rack and caught me. I'm convinced that the rack absorbed enough energy and spared me from more serious damage.

    I didn't see the fence because the field was all black from the fires, and the fence was blackened, too. Also, I was wearing goggles and a full-faced helmet. But I really just wasn't paying enough attention, since my friend saw the fence.
  • edited November 2017
    I was an apprentice for a mason when I was in my early 20's and we were lowering ourselves from the top of the building on our portable davit, we were leaving early due to an incoming storm. A gust of wind had scooped one of the scaffolding planks off the roof and sent it tumbling down the building. Of course I was none the wiser looking off o the side when suddenly I heard a loud crash just feet from me, the side of the davit was completely ripped off and the plank laid broken at the street.. I was not wearing a hard hat... not that it would have made a difference.
  • TaraC73TaraC73 Manchester NH
    edited November 2017
    Knock wood I’ve never had a near death experience. Closest thing Ive felt was when I lost my daughters in target! They were 3 and 9 and they were hiding in a rack of clothes and didn’t answer me when I called out for them. Lost my shit panicked for a good 30 seconds after calling out to them twice and then they popped out laughing and thinking it was hilarious... 9 year old lost tv/iPod for a week and the 3 year old lost tv for three days. :angry:

    (if you don’t have kids you’re probably thinking it’s not that scary “only” having them gone for 30 seconds... but it is especially we were in the jackets section near the front of the store doors.)
  • probably some time i didn't even realize, but as far as when i knew something i had a bout of what i suspect was guillain barre syndrome maybe ten years ago or something?  maybe longer, i don't really remember.  but it was really scary, i kept getting physically weaker and weaker over the course of like 3 or 4 days until by the last day i was so weak i couldn't turn a doorknob.  i suspected it might kill me and after the fact i read about it and i guess it can kill people, but most people wind up with the same reaction i had:  it goes away as suddenly as it came on.  haven't had any issue like that (or any other auto-immune disorder that i know of) since.
  • OliviaDOliviaD Cincinnati, Ohio
    My dad used to have a 78 chevy nova that had leather bench seats. The passenger door did not latch properly so to keep it closed you had to lock the door. When I was about 5 years old I decided to go with my dad to my godparents house after church. We dropped my mom off at our house and my dad let me sit up front with him. I was sitting directly next to my dad, middle of the bench fiddling with the radio and I did not put my seat belt on. We made a left hand turn onto a major road and I slid across the bench seat (thanks to the tights and dress I was wearing) and end up knocking the door open. I fell out of the moving car into traffic. Thankfully my momentum caused me to roll out of the street before a car could run me over. I got some good road rash on my legs and arms from this. My dad was terrified of telling my mom what happened because she hated that car and knew she would make him get rid of it immediately. He took me to my godparents and had my godmother clean up my wounds. He told my mom that I got all scraped up climbing trees and playing with the boys in the neighborhood. 

    I was able to find some humor in this story years later. When I was 16, my mom's thunderbird had been totaled in an accident, and we were talking about car accidents she had been previously in. She made a comment about how I should be glad I had never been involved in a car accident in my life. I responded that I guess my Nova experience didn't qualify as a car accident but it was an accident involving a car. She didn't know what I was talking about so I told her what happened. Needless to say she freaked the fuck out. My parents had been divorced for 8 years at this point but this did not stop my mom from calling my dad and cussing him out for 30 minutes about his negligence and lying to her about it. She remained so worked up about it that when he picked me up that weekend for visitation she came outside to yell at him again about it. To this day she is still mad about it. 

    And yes I now wear my seat belt every time I'm in the car now no matter what. 
  • AjasAjas Seattle, WA
    I've got 2, but I'll save one for tomorrow...

    September 3rd, 2009. Kodiak, Alaska. Vacationing with my then-girlfriend. Our day started with the plan of hiking out to Termination Point-- 5 mi round trip.. It was me, my gf (Ida) and her mom (Debi), and the hike was very beautiful despite a vicious downpour. Less than a quarter-mile from the end, we're soaked in our rain gear, a little tired, and just slogging to the end when Debi SHRIEKS "BEEEAAAARRR!!!" and BOLTS off up a hill into the forest still SCREAMING indecipherably... Likewise Ida, after a moment's hesitation darts off in a different direction, and I am caught utterly numb as the massive Kodiak Grizzly we just startled at 20 yards begins launching through the forest at us... Me.

    I had a lot of thoughts in that moment. Don't run. She's bluffing. Don't get between her and her cub. Wow, that is a HUGE HEAD. She's not bluffing. FUUUUUUUUUCK. Her original direction was the middle of our group, and we were fairly spread out... but at the moment she got to our path she turned her head at me and wheeled her body around to charge in a manner I can only describe as like the gallop of a playful puppy.

    Meanwhile, I should point out, I have the party's weapons. Bear spray, velcro'ed securely to a fanny pack, safety-clip in place, an air-horn packed snugly underneath something fleece inside, zipped up. And I am chasing fiendishly with my fingers for these well packed defenses, my only defenses...

    About 3 seconds have passed.

    Now let me tell you something about being charged by a grizzly bear. You CANNOT, by any force of will or instinct or thought of survival, take your eyes off that massive thing... and certainly not enough to perform multiple unfastenings of things. There's a reason why cops don't carry their guns zipped up in fanny packs, tucked underneath their handcuffs. Point being, the only real defense was the tree i dove behind when the bear was seriously close enough to touch... Another thing I learned about bears, they're not super-agile-- that grizzly had to skid to a stop to chase me around the tree. My fingers continued their search for the airhorn, without any direction from my brain, and apparently unabashed by the fruitlessness of the search.

    As I continued around the tree, the corner of my eye caught the cub arriving at the path behind me, barking an awfully discordant howl. I am literally between the mother and her cub. Having circled the tree completely, I start backing toward the path simply to avoid being between them, and as the bear wheels around the tree with just five feet of open ground between us, she takes one last pounce/gallop at me and bolts back off into the forest, cub at her side in one stride.

    The whole thing lasted about 7-10 seconds.
  • AjasAjas Seattle, WA
    Quick addendum... We took a quick picture at the spot this happened, but with the panicked urgency to leave I forgot my camera at the trail.

    So the next day they drove me back to the trailhead, but I had to hike back alone to retrieve it... Most terrifying half-mile of my entire life, but at least I have this:

    It was actually 2 small trees placed just close enough that a grizzly can't scoot between. 
  • aberry89aberry89 California
    edited November 2017
    Okay, well it's hard to follow that! XD

    I got caught in a rip-tide in the ocean once. Took me way far out, I waved for the lifeguard - didn't see me. Probably the most scared I have ever been in my entire life, but It's amazing how your brain shuts down and your body takes over. I cannot remember the swim back to the shore, I know I was completely conscious, but it's just a time jump in my memory. 

    If you've ever caught in a riptide - swim parallel to the shore, you will eventually make it out. don't swim straight for the shore, you will tire yourself out! 
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