Terri Ann recalls an incident when she went yachting with some friends. They did this thing where they swung off one of the booms in a hammock and she fell off – the boat kept going – and she ended up in the middle of Lake Erie in Ontario…with no lifejacket on.
“Some friends and I were sailing out on Lake Erie, ands sometimes in the middle of a sail, we’ll kind of slow down the sailboat and we’ll set the boom up with a little bit of a hammock so that we can kind of swing. And then they dunk us into the water. But one of the clips on the hammock wasn’t holding properly and it let go and I fell into the water. The boat was still going, and I didn’t have a lifejacket on because we were just dunking on the hammock. When I came up, I tried swimming for the boat and they tried to slow down, take the sails down and whatnot, but it didn’t quite work that well. They had to come about and get me, and it was very scary. I guess it didn’t take very long because it was a smaller boat to come about, it took about 5 minutes in the water, but it seemed a lot longer, and it’s cold because it’s Lake Erie.”
“It was an unexpected fall and it really caught me off guard. At first, I wasn’t too worried, and I was laughing. But then when the boat kept going away, I started to get scared and I started to think, what the heck am I doing out here, and without a lifejacket! I’d never been in that position before. We practice it, but we never really are in that position. You get really anxious, and I actually did start crying at one point.”
“My head went under, but I didn’t gasp underwater because I felt myself falling, so I took a breath beforehand, and my mouth was closed. But I did get water in my nose, and obviously it did go down to my throat.”
Terri Ann was visibly shaken just recalling her experience. “I wasn’t struggling. I’m a pretty strong swimmer, but I was getting very nervous… it was actually quite scary. When reality sets in, you’re like, you trust your friends, you know they’re coming back, but stuff happens, so yeah, it was a little scary.”