Near Death Experiences (On and Off Topic)


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Social climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 21, 2012 - 10:16pm PT
I have had 6.

I know that the stories are scattered around the site, just thought I would bring them together under one topic.

I did some searching, but if Mighty Hiker or others can find the related thread, I will delete.

What's your story/stories?

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 21, 2012 - 10:41pm PT
You first!

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Aug 21, 2012 - 10:45pm PT
Let's hear about the time you almost tripped with the cat tunnel on your head with 2 fingers saluting...

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 21, 2012 - 11:16pm PT
The first time: I was 14, and working at my father's fish-tendering plant in Anacortes Washington. The tides in the Guemes Channel are unpredictable and fast. Oil Tankers roll through there, that is how deep it is. Anyway, I had just released a line on one of our fish-tenders, and climbed down the ladder to jump on board. The tide was a LOT faster than I anticipated, and I missed the boat (quite literally).

I bounced off the rail, and hit my head on the ladder, and was out cold in the 40 degree water and a strong tide.

My mother dove in and hauled my ass back to the ladder and held me there until my dad could get the boat close enough to have the other deckhand (my friend Ted) climb down and assist with the rescue.

Edit: We both could have been crushed between the pier and the boat - thanks Mom

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Aug 21, 2012 - 11:18pm PT
Well I went to a climbing slide show the other night and......

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 21, 2012 - 11:21pm PT
#2: I was again working on a fish tender, this time in Alaska.

As well as #3.

#4 was crabbing off the coast of the Fairweather Range.

I'll wait.

Anyone else?

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Aug 21, 2012 - 11:46pm PT
When I was 14, my friends and I were held at gunpoint for our Halloween candy. One guy had a black semi-auto pistol and the other had a rifle.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 22, 2012 - 12:13am PT
1. I fell off of a really tall slide at the park when I was about 4 and landed
on my head. I don't know if it almost killed me but look at me now!

2. Mean streets of Chicago - Dood waving a gun inches from my nose. If
you've seen my nose you know it wasn't that close to the rest of my face
but I was afraid he was gonna hit my nose with his trigger finger.

Trad climber
Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Aug 22, 2012 - 01:13am PT
Jaybro -- many of us here in cali got ya beat when it comes to surviving ronnie & gained valuble survival skills in the process under his gubernatorial years prior to his presidency. close calls, indeed! ya havta look at it in a positive light, they prepare ya for what's to come...cud get worse yet, eh? lol

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 22, 2012 - 01:23am PT
I lived through the Reagan administration. It was close for all of us.

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 22, 2012 - 01:30am PT
Nice! No "Cat tried to kill me" stories yet!

#2: I was 18 and tendering fish out of Sitka, Alaska on one of my step-father's boats (the PNW fish industry had gone kaput at this point, and he was now leasing boats to Alaska processing plants) and just finished visiting with some friends on another tender. The docks had these central pilings that allowed more boats to dock on either side (which was unfamiliar to me), and I was walking backwards, waving good-bye to them when I fell into one of the piling holes.

I came up pounding at the white styrofoam floatation blocks, underwater (obviously), in a complete panic state: no sense of direction, bitter cold water, and no air. I cast about for as long as I can remember, then passed out. I was saved by the captain of the boat I was visiting who, once again, dived into the frigid water to drag my ass out of the ocean.

Trad climber
Black Rock City
Aug 22, 2012 - 01:49am PT
I've been reading Anita Moorjani's book Dying to be Me. Its all about her nde. I dont think it is what you are meaning on this thread, but i cant help but mention it. I find it powerful and inspiring. Also been checking out this site:
john hansen

Aug 22, 2012 - 01:59am PT
Mister E, you are a lucky man.

Trad climber
East Coast US
Aug 22, 2012 - 08:27am PT
Crazy ex-girlfriend stalked me for a couple of years. Sent black roses with the heads cutoff to me more than once. Found her in the bushes next to my parked car while leaving a bar with a newer girlfriend. I thought I'd be half of a double homicide. Had to get the justice system involved after that incident.

I could have easily been another Jack Mileski.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Aug 22, 2012 - 09:02am PT
Was soloing Snake Dike, and got off route about 200 feet up. You are climbing on this rock feature, a dike that goes for hundreds of feet, then you have to traverse over to another dike and continue up the route. I forgot the traverse and climbed the dike I was on for another 100 feet or so until it just disappeared, Next thing I knew, I was on a blank face breaking off flakes left and right. This can't be right ... then I looked down and remembered the traverse. I had to downclimb a really long way, the only time I've had to do something like that, and was totally gripped with fear afterwards.

The traverse was protected by a bolt, only 5.7 but an insecure friction move. I was so amped up from downclimbing, when I made the move, it was like I was in a dream watching myself do it. My memory of the traverse is a memory as if I were observing myself from outside. This is how my brain recorded this incident, as a kind of out of body experience. It's weird but I can still see myself doing the move.

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 22, 2012 - 10:10am PT
Cool story, Don - trippy. Thanks for the link Daphne, interesting stuff.

#3: So, the next year, I was off of my Step-father's tender, but got a gig on another boat out of Seattle. The owner's son was on board and we didn't get along very well (this is relevant to #4). I ended up in the fish-hold A LOT, installing wooden hold-dividers (so the load didn't shift), unloading, cleaning the hold, firstly because I was the "new guy" and also because he didn't like me. I got through the season OK, mostly because I stayed in my bunk reading all summer when we weren't working and out of the way of the owner's son (which isn't an easy thing to do on a 65-foot boat). Towards the end of the summer, the tensions were getting higher, and we were really busy. We were pushing for our broom on the mast, which signifies that your boat got one million pounds from the grounds to the plant, and we were in competition with another tender for the "first broom".
Well, we were on our second delivery in three days with a full fish-hold, and were all pretty exhausted by the time we finished unloading. It was my job to clean out the fish-hold after unloading, but I really needed a bathroom break after the non-stop unloading process. I climbed up the ladder with my slimy gloves still on, grabbed the lip of the fish-hold,pulled myself up over the edge and was just about to swing my feet over when both hands popped off...

I remember to this day that it all seemed to happened in slow-motion in my brain. It really couldn't have taken long since the bottom of the hold was only 20 feet away. I pitched over backwards and looked down. In a split-second, I knew what was going to happen. There were these refrigerated circulation pipes that were 4" around and mounted about another 4" off the bottom of the deck. These were held in place by huge stainless steel clamps, mounted to the bottom of the fish-hold. My lower spine was headed directly towards one of those steel clamps.
With everything I had, I twisted my body sideways, and as I hit the clamp, and felt it dig into my side, I did the only possible thing that would save my sorry ass: I relaxed into it, fully realizing that this might be the end. That is all I remember, until I woke up in my bunk, with an ice-pack on my side and a very concerned Skipper standing over me. I had a HUGE bruise on my side, and clearly needed medical attention, so he took me to one of the larger boats, where I was picked up by helicopter and taken back to Sitka.
In the end, it was just a lot of bruising, and some shook-up internal organs. I was right about my assessment of where the pipe was going to hit, that little twist-and-relax I did landed the brace just above my hip, and just below my ribs. Not a broken bone one. I was back to work within 5 days, albeit on limited work-load and I was fine in two weeks.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Aug 22, 2012 - 10:15am PT
Tactical Air Command in the Air Force used to have a safety magazine, can't remember what it was called. About flying, duh.

They had one recurring section I loved to read - "There I was..."

Pilots love to tell about their close encounters with the Grim Reaper. Just like climbers.

Over the years I've grown weary of reading accident tales, my own included.



Trad climber
Placerville, California
Aug 22, 2012 - 10:25am PT
i was sitting in my cabin one april
morning, doing nothing particularly dangerous or exciting;
just watching the snow flakes drift about
and eating a bowl of oatmeal,

suddenly, boom. really loud crash over my head,
and the entire cabin shaking with verve,
the hot stove pipe rockets to the ground 3' behind me
and soot explodes all over.

i cower low because im really a scared little boy,
and when the 10.0 quake ceases,
i jump up from my chair and bolt out the door,
to witness this:
Credit: Norwegian
Credit: Norwegian
Credit: Norwegian
Credit: Norwegian

then after a little cleanup, she still stands, though with a limp
Credit: Norwegian
Credit: Norwegian

from SoCal
Aug 22, 2012 - 10:35am PT
Obviously, fishing is very dangerous. Stick with something safe, like climbing.

My best story occurred at Tahquitz when I was about 16. My idiot partner, 100 feet above me in a steep section, knocked a rock off the size of a cantaloupe, ROCK!!!! I am locked into a small ledge belaying so I cannot jump or move. The rock is headed right at me. The brain computes real fast when it needs to and I determine the rock will bounce above me and impact dead center of my chest.

I did not experience my "life flashing before my eyes", but I did see an image of my parents (only child) and a deep sadness that I really screwed up and was going to let them down.

Well God had other plans that day because the rock bounced about 10 feet above me, split in two and the pieces went on both sides of me. I turned and looked down the rock watching the pieces bounce all the way to the bottom.

True story, my partner saw the whole thing.

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Aug 22, 2012 - 12:01pm PT
I've only had 2 near death experiences.
one was Fishing and the other was a Stabbing.
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