• You’re Conscious When You Inhale Water

    An excerpt from Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Guys Versus the Sea:

    ” The instinct not to breathe underwater is so strong that it gets rid of the pain of running out of air. No matter how desperate the drowning individual is, he doesn’t inhale until he’s on the edge of passing out. At that point there’s a lot carbon dioxide in the blood, therefore little oxygen, that chemical sensors in the brain activate an uncontrolled breath whether he’s underwater or not. That is called the ‘break point.’ Lab experiments have actually shown the break point to follow 87 seconds. It’s sort of a neurological optimism, as if the body were saying, Holding our breath is killing us, and breathing in might not kill us, so we may also inhale.

    When the very first involuntary breath happens many people are still conscious, which is regrettable, because the only thing more unpleasant than running out of air is breathing in water. At this moment the person goes from voluntary to involuntary apnea, and the drowning begins in earnest. A spasmodic breath drags water into the mouth and windpipe, and then one of 2 things takes place. In about ten percent of people, water– anything– touching the singing cords sets off an immediate contraction in the muscles around the throat. In result, the central nervous system judges something in the voice box to be more of a threat than low oxygen levels in the blood, and acts appropriately. This is called laryngospasm. It’s so powerful that it overcomes the breathing reflex and eventually suffocates the person. An individual with laryngospasm drowns without any water in his lungs.

    In the other ninety percent of individuals, water floods the lungs and ends any waning transfer of oxygen to the blood. The clock is diminishing now; half-conscious and enfeebled by oxygen exhaustion, the individual remains in no position to eliminate his method back approximately the surface. The very procedure of drowning makes it harder and harder not to drown, a rapid disaster curve similar to that of a sinking boat.”

    It’s Torture

    Christopher Hitchens on what it feels like to be waterboarded:

    ” You may have read by now the official lie about this treatment, which is that it ‘simulates’ the feeling of drowning. This is not the case. You feel that you are drowning since you are drowning– or, rather, being drowned, albeit slowly and under controlled conditions and at the mercy (or otherwise) of those who are using the pressure. The ‘board’ is the instrument, not the technique. You are not being boarded. You are being watered …

    In this pregnant darkness, head downward, I waited on a while until I quickly felt a slow cascade of water going up my nose. Figured out to resist if just for the honor of my navy ancestors who had actually so frequently remained in peril on the sea, I held my breath for a while and after that needed to exhale and– as you might expect– inhale in turn. The inhalation brought the damp cloths tight versus my nostrils, as if a substantial, wet paw had been unexpectedly and annihilatingly secured over my face. Unable to identify whether I was taking in or out, and flooded more with sheer panic than with simple water, I set off the pre-arranged signal and felt the astounding relief of being pulled upright and having the soaking and suppressing layers managed me. I find I do not wish to tell you how little time I lasted.”

    It Burns Like Hot Lava

    ” I practically drowned 3 years ago. Out in the sea, swimming, then oh crap I could not move a single muscle in my body. I used my last breath not very carefully as I merely shouted mindlessly as I sank slowly. I was panicking, I ran out control, I attempted to wave my arms and my legs furiously but I was strengthened, like a statue. I was still breathing quite quick while I was sinking so I got some water in my lungs. Which seemed like an eternity to me, I was underwater and however generally I can’t open my eyes in salt water, I could see the sea and the colors yet as I frantically attempted to breathe, I had increasingly more water swallowed.

    I must’ve lost consciousness for I do not remember my friend and papa pulling me up. I remember it burned like lava, the lungs and my stomach( they kept burning for a long time, I barely breathed for a week) and I remember throwing up a lot while being carried, however nothing else. It was practically a near-death experience, sufficed to piss my shorts. How did it feel is, once again, I can’t give a clear answer, for it was occurring right there and I was too hectic trying to conserve myself than taking the moment, so to say. I felt desperate and I kept understanding for air like an infant but hi, still not as detailed as one might desire from a thread like this.”

    It’s Either Tranquil or Brutal

    ” I’ve nearly drowned at least when. Depending upon the individual, it’s either serene if you accept the reality that you’re most likely gon na die (which I did) or it’s brutal as you struggle.

    I really recognized that I was going to drown so I breathed the water in on function to just get it over with. It just harmed when I was coughing it up.”

    Everything Goes Black

    ” Drowning is one experience that I can not explain, and I do not believe descriptions are sufficient if you need to know how it feels. All I keep in mind is this.

    I was on top of an inflatable tube (like a raft shape) and was wading my way into the middle while no one was looking. Unexpectedly, I don’t understand how it happened, however the next minute I understood, I was drowning. The only things I keep in mind definitely are that I was not able to breathe, since water was entering my nose and mouth quickly, and subsequently my lungs. Even as a child, I understood, that I needed to remain above water, to be able to breathe again. And I was flailing my hands to stay above water, hoping I could bring my face above the surface area, but I wasn’t very effective at it. Then I started decreasing and didn’t have any more thoughts.

    There was no ‘I ought to push my feet on the bottom and attempt to come up,’ or ‘The color of the water is so blue.’ I simply blacked out. I don’t keep in mind anything from this point to the point where the lifeguards were trying to get the water out of my lungs, and I choked it out. My moms and dads were quite scared, I didn’t process the thing as too major at that time, I do not understand why.”

    No Discomfort, Simply Comfort

    An incident throughout “ underwater walking” in Thailand:

    ” I don’t understand whether it’s because I’m naturally fidgety, or because my rotten luck and the turbulent seawater concurrently conspired against me, but my helmet in some way got slanted in reverse and some of the water was available in, into my mouth and nostrils. I panicked and began whipping my body, and the helmet came off completely.

    The very first 3 seconds were as follows: My body began to drift upwards. My mouth was open, and my throat completely contracted. My body was deformed in an awkward posture; my torso was arched forward, my limbs were streaming backwards, and my eyes were gazing directly, although I could not sign up anything I was seeing. I heard my sis (who was beside me in the chain) scream my name through her helmet.

    After the three seconds passed, I began to desperately flail my arms and legs, and my head had two simultaneous, constant ideas:

    • breathe out very, extremely small amounts of air
    • go straight upwards

    My mouth was open, and I was letting out discreet, small amounts of air through my esophagus, shopping as much time as I could before I lacked air. I might feel my flailing gradually take my body upwards. I needed to survive. I had to in some way reach the surface area and survive. I didn’t want to pass away.

    More seconds expired. I was running out of air. I attempted to appreciate see sunshine, but I saw none. It struck me that I would not make it. I let out another breath of air, this one more copious than the others. My body went limp, my mind went blank and I quit on all effort. I just release, and my flaccid body just floated in the water for a couple of seconds. My lungs had basically given out, and there was no discomfort, just comfort.

    A couple of more seconds later on, for some relatively inexplicable reason (or so it appeared in the moment), I suddenly had a substantial burst of energy, and the will to leave the circumstance reappeared, therefore did the desperate flailing. This time was different, I could feel myself going up quicker and with more force. Maybe I might make it. Possibly I would make it.

    I made it to the surface area, and after that it hit me that this sudden rise of energy was because among the swimmers had finally gotten to me. My oxygen-deprived mind was believing that I was increasing of my own accord. After taking in the much-needed lungful of air, a LOT of coughing occurred.”

    Sheer Panic

    ” For me, I went through 3 unique phases, but the stage that lasted the longest was the large bloody panic stage.

    I was at a water park with some buddies and we remained in a wave pool. I was sitting in an inner tube when somebody (do not know who, but it wasn’t among my buddies) flipped my inner tube over. I went undersea, however I wasn’t panicking since all I required to do was kick as much as reach the surface area once again.

    However right as I surfaced, a wave hit me and knocked me back under. And for the next half a minute I remained in the most terrifying experience of my life. Whenever I resurfaced, I was knocked back under by progressively bigger waves. I couldn’t breathe, I had water entering through my nose and mouth, and my mind was going absolutely nuts: it was racing and I was not able to form coherent ideas but at the same time it was continuously informing me that I needed to get to the surface. For how little time I was under the water, it felt like I had been going at it for an hour.

    And then, I had a minute of severe clearness. After being knocked down again the cacophony of my brain stopped and I suddenly realized that if I didn’t try to resurface right after I was pulled below once again, that I would have the ability to resurface after the wave passed. However I waited too long and the most significant wave hit me, knocked me back under, and dragged my feet along the bottom of the swimming pool, scraping my feet pretty severely.

    After that time I was finally able to resurface, generally since the waves were decreasing in size and the waves had pushed me to where I might stroll and I simply walked out of the pool, albeit due to the fact that my feet were bleeding, and I was still disoriented and coughing up water, and so on. I still have scars (well, more like red marks) on my feet where they scraped along the bottom of the swimming pool, which was a great 3 and a half, 4 years ago.”

    You Go Into Total Shock

    ” Very first time I drowned was at age 12 when I had no understanding of swimming. I was playing in the river with my dad and other family members when all of a sudden the currents pulled me into the water. There were at least 10-12 family members of my own, each busy in their own world. I consumed water twice and couldn’t yell and my mind was definitely blank.

    Out of no place, my cousin, who was on his bike on the banks, delved into the water and pulled me to safety. My mind was recording all those things however I could not respond. Perhaps I was in overall shock and couldn’t react or scream. What followed next was great deals of guidance from seniors and my granny telling ghost stories on how the river had actually taken [the] lives of a lot of in the village.”

    Whatever Turns Yellow, Then Black, Then Pure White

    ” I opted for a journey with camping and rafting to invest the vacation with a group of 9 individuals. On Saturday, we were supposed to do rafting. So, in the morning we were cooling on the bank of The Ganges practically 4 feet in the water with red bulls, volley balls, clicking pics and things when I felt the sand getting displaced listed below my feet. I asked my swimmer buddy to hold me firmly so I can return to the coast, he held me tightly and we started moving towards the shore when we felt the tide moving backwards dragging us back in the water. There, we were 5 friends at 4 feet depth and everyone panicked including me. And I’m 5’11” high so I can tell you that being a non-swimmer I was playing it safe.

    The tide was tough, we lost the hold against the water and I was dragged inside like a vacuum. I attempted to wave so everyone understands I’m drowning and they know my position and sadly no one came. I kept struggling for 10-15 seconds, which I remember, then water started getting in me as I ran out of breath and automatically opened my mouth, leading to more water within, and that’s when everything began turning yellow and whatever faded. That’s what I was feeling, even now I keep in mind that yellow sight that I had while drowning … And all of a sudden everything turned black, sharp black. It didn’t change from yellow to black in 4 or 6 seconds. In milliseconds, it just turned BLACK.

    I stopped feeling anything and can’t remember after that, as if I wasn’t there or there was no existence. I simply never ever existed because moment. After a couple of seconds (I do not understand the number of), everything turned pungent WHITE, ABSOLUTELY CLEAR COLOR, the most pure color that I can even imagine. And I saw a figure who came closer to me and said something with affection and love (I still could not figure out what that was, attempted too hard to think of it so many times). At this specific moment, I was feeling damn pleasant, like whatever is fine and I’m high possibly. Which was exactly when I was dragged out of [the] water. And everyone was saying so lots of things and patting my back, pushing my stomach and chest to get rid of water from my lungs and belly.”

    Discomfort Lets You Know You’re Still Alive

    ” This is what it seems like [to drown]:

    1. Panic – this is the state where you don’t know what to do. For a person who never ever swam, the very first thing that pertains to your mind is whether you flail or flap your limbs anywhere to surface (I understand, it sounds dumb) or to inhale in really small amounts. You can not make a noise except for coughing.

    2. [I don’t know] what it is called but your lungs suddenly stop working and [you have] an extreme wish to breathe oxygen. After about 10 seconds of being underwater, discomfort takes place. For me, this is the last opportunity of survival due to the fact that pain informs your body to act. And suddenly, adrenaline pertains to the rescue. My body then kicked from the water so heavily, it seemed like I flew, and then back in the shallow waters. Which moment I knew I was still alive due to the fact that you can’t feel discomfort when you’re dead. I started to [drink] great deals of seawater and it felt unpleasant. Somehow, I was glad that I was in discomfort.

    3. Flashbacks – I saw my life flashing through my eyes in a really brief moment. I understood that I was still too young to accept death. I [could not] leave my parents, my friends, my studies, my memories and my life in this alien environment. I unexpectedly felt a lack of energy, I knew at that minute I could do nothing, I was not prepared to bid the world farewell. My back touched the seabed … All these things[made me angry] I [was] angry to leave the world without reaching my dreams.

    And then, my pals came to rescue me.”

    People Explain What It Feels Like to Drown

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