When I was 11 years old I was swimming in a lake in Wisconsin while on vacation with my family.

Out in the lake, there was a float that consisted of boards on top of 4 empty drums (I think attached by ropes wrapped together tightly) and an iron ladder off the side. I believe this lake at the point where the float was located was about 10-15 feet deep.

I was out there with my older brother, older sister, older neighbor, and his much older brother. The much older one was in his mid-to-late teens and was keeping an eye on us. He lived at the lake and was very good at first aid and water safety: a good swimmer, boater, etc.

The rest of us were playing a game of tag, or "it." When my brother was "it," he was coming after me. I was not a strong swimmer, but I was moving as fast as I could to get to the ladder and up onto the float -- hoping he would then turn his attention toward someone else in the water. He didn't. I scrambled up the ladder, turned and saw him coming after me, and ran across the float and while laughing, arched my back to escape being tagged, and cracked up as he missed and I leapt into the water. Well, while I escaped being tagged, I also forgot the crucial step of inhaling a deep breath prior to jumping into deep water. It seriously did not occur to me until I was in the water, at which point I panicked and started to paddle my arms frantically and kick as hard as I could to stop myself from going deeper. My lungs wanted air and I had not yet reached the surface of the water, so...I reflexively took in a lung-full of lake water.

I started to sink like a rock. I knew what was happening -- but could do nothing to stop it. My arms and legs tired very quickly at this point, and suddenly I stopped fighting. I felt that sense of peace come over me at this point. I looked up and saw the sun on the other side of the water. I just sat there for what must have been about a minute, and I was snapped out of this trance by the sound of the water breaking. I looked over to where the sound came from -- about 5-6 feet in front of me, and I saw the older person diving very fast -- like a streak with bubbles around him in the shape of a V while he sliced through the water. He went straight to the bottom of the lake -- below me -- where I saw him pick up my body off the bottom of the lake. I was soooo white against the mud and seaweed, but I knew it was me, because I saw my hair and it was directly under where I currently was.

Then, with tremendous force, the person -- who now had his arms under each of my arms like two rings -- pushed off the lake floor and, with that, rushed straight up and put my soul back into my body on the way up to the surface of the water. He then started the Heimlich maneuver and I was puking up lake water. It was gross. I was coughing and choking. Not a great experience. He then brought me over to shallower water where my feet could reach the bottom of the lake, and set me down. I stared at him and he was looking at me. "Are you ok?" he asked. "Yeah. (I think)."

I walked on very wobbly legs back to the dock, got out of the lake, and laid on the grass staring at the sky and wondering what the hell just happened. I believe I was in shock for some time. It was never spoken about. Sometime, about 20 years later, I thanked him for saving my life. He didn't even remember it. I told him what happened and thanked him again. He thought nothing of it. I knew how close it was.

I was profoundly changed by that experience. I realized how precious life is and how quickly it could be gone. Thank God he was at that lake that day and that he had the training he had. Since then I did a lot of reading and studying about near death experiences and paranormal activity. I was fascinated by it -- but had no further NDEs. My sensitivity was heightened, though, and I believe that that sensitivity is the reason for some other experiences later in life. Clairaudient, telepathic, claircognizance, clairsentient experiences, and also I'm now realizing that Yoga - meditation - and middle east culture has a much better understanding and vocabulary for these kinds of experiences than we do here in the United States.

I am very thankful for this website and the work of the people who are here for making this something that is acceptable to share. It is very strange to have the experiences and not have the ability to communicate about it to anyone because you don't have the words, and because most people here are so ignorant of how common these experiences are.