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Young mother drowns in sailing accident

It was a windy day for sailing our 18’ “Flying Dutchman” sailboat with 3 onboard, my husband at tiller, his father (crew) and I was attached to a “trapeze” for ballast.  My harness was velcroed to my waist with a “quick release” toggle (the trapeze wire was attached to top of mast).

My husband asked his dad to lean back for more ballast as a gust hit our sails. Dad leaned forward and the boat capsized, and I found myself trapped under 15’ of water.   My harness would not disconnect. I panicked and expelled all my air (after about 30 seconds of struggling with the harness).  I also clearly remember I sucked in a lot of water in my lungs and shortly after gave up fighting my drowning and “gave in” to death.  

At that point I vividly remember seeing a white light. I felt absolutely calm, happy, eager to join the other dying people going to the light. I felt family members (ie, Grandmother, Grandfather) with me, helping me, guiding me.  I remember other souls, more white in appearance and winged (ie, angels) helping me.  As I approached the end of this tunnel to the light, I heard a clear male voice say to me, “Go back, it’s not your time, you have a son to take care of.” My son was about a year old at the time.

Those words jarred me back to my bad situation but gave me strength to fight some more, and at the same time my husband began to dive down with a mouthful of air to “buddy breathe” me to wellness.  He also got my harness to release (on third dive down), and I bolted to the water's surface to find I was under the boat, breathing stale air!  I dove down again, through ropes and sails, to finally reach the surface to breathe “that blue air.”

I was under the water for almost 3 minutes, according to my husband and his father.

I will never forget this NDE and feel blessed to know how pleasant the next stage will be (after my death).  I am not afraid, have experienced a few close calls with my health since then, still not afraid. I also believe and read and practice constantly spirituality, meditation, compassion, etc., trying to make sense of this event.

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