True stories with a twist!

RUBBER TUBING

The headline on January 14th propelled one of my most frightening fears to my mind.

When the Italian luxury ship, Costa Concordia, hit a large rock formation that tore its bottom  and caused the ship to list onto its side I was instantaneously drawn back to the summer I turned six.

My parents, younger brother and I were experiencing a hot, sunny afternoon at an upstate New York creek. We set out early in the morning, and my father stopped at a gas station to fill the inner tube with air. It would be my first experience using an inner tube in the water. All the kids were using them: they floated on them, they climbed inside and kicked their feet. They were swimming without knowing how to swim, using the support of the tube.

It was a happy day; we were laughing, splashing and being silly. I thought all was going “swimmingly” as the current carried me deeper into the creek, into deep water.

The sides of the tube were slippery, and I slid down into the water. I hurtled downward without any control, until my feet felt the muddy bottom of the creek. As they touched the mud I used it as a spring board to push myself back up to the top. There I could gasp a fresh breath of air before being pulled down to the bottom again.

I was such a shy child that I didn’t even scream out for help.

This pattern continued a few times and I was becoming tired and frightened. Suddenly one woman in a group of chatting adults noticed me and asked, “Are you alright?” She reached over and pulled me up to the top, while she and her husband lifted me onto the shore. A flurry of action followed, people shouting all at once, my parents running to me.

That’s all I remember: slipping out of the tube, being sucked down into the depths of the creek, pushing up to the top, and a kind woman helping me stay on top.

I have been terrified of deep water ever since.

Comments on: "RUBBER TUBING" (18)

  1. You and me both, Ronnie. I have the exact same story only it happened to me when I was sixteen. I have tried to overcome my fear of water but just can’t do it (you notice in the story about our vacation there is no mention of me snorkeling). I am amazed at people who are relaxed in water and can swim like fish (my husband is that way). I made sure the children didn’t pick up my phobia, but it is a lost cause with me, and it all started with an inner tube. 😦

    • Yes, I noticed that you were working on your tan while your husband snorkeled. So you understand the kind of fear that stays with us no matter how old we get. Oh, well, how many of us love parading around
      in bathing suits, anyway?

      Ronnie

  2. I can’t blame you. That must have been terrifying.

  3. I love this entry my friend and you are invited here
    http://wp.me/P1Dwwo-jn

  4. You’ve inspired a post, for me. Another almost-drowning situation. Thanks Ronnie!

  5. Sounds awful. Those are those traumatic moments that stay with us forever . . .

  6. Your description was vivid. What a relief to be finally out of the water!!! Water scares me ,too. Still haven’t been able to learn to swim.

  7. Oh my goodness, Ronnie, what a terrifying experience! …and thank goodness for the angel that saved you.. 🙂

  8. arbohl said:

    Deep water is terrifying! When I was a child I was always afraid of something coming outbid the drain at the bottom of the pool. I’ve been trying to plan a cruise, and now this is making me nervous. Hopefully now that something’s happened they will make it even more safe? That’s what I’m telling myself anyway, haha

  9. Red Toenails said:

    That is a scary experience. Life and death experiences always are. Mine are from the car wrecks I’ve had – I’m a magnet for idiots. Glad you are here to tell the tale.

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