Saved from Drowning in the Sea

Sascha - Berlin, Germany

Photo of Sascha

In summer 1997 I was at a big meeting of our assembly in Newquay in England. One morning several of us went to the beach. The sea was quite rough and the waves were high. In expectation of a lot of fun I ran ahead into the water, till I couldn’t feel sand under my feet any more. Suddenly I realised there was a strong current pulling me out.  I tried to swim back to the shore, but it was already too late. I was helpless and couldn’t stop myself being pulled out further. With all my strength I tried to get back, while huge waves broke over me and then pushed me below the surface. I came up yelling for help, and my friends came into the water and tried to reach me, but to no avail. One of them ran back to where we were staying to tell the others, who went into prayer immediately.

Full of panic, my strength began to leave me. My muscles ached more and more and I swallowed salt water every time the waves pushed me down. I felt increasingly sick and freezing and the fight became more and more hopeless. It’s hard to say how long I tried with my own strength to get back to the beach but at some point I got cramps and was totally exhausted and hypothermic (cold).

...the fight became more and more hopeless.

There was nothing I could do any more; no hope at all.

At that moment, when all my abilities to save myself were gone, I cried out to the Lord to save my life. And He answered instantly. The waves, which had been more than 2 metres high, suddenly reduced to half that size. The panic and fear left me and I turned to see when the next wave would reach me. I stopped screaming and swallowing salt water, but held my breath before the wave hit me. I would tumble around a few times under water before coming up again and breathing. I was unable to swim anywhere and was just drifting. After a while I felt sand under my feet again, crawled out of the water on all fours and vomited on the beach. People came and covered me with a jacket and put me in an insulating aluminium cover, before a helicopter flew me to the hospital in nearby Truro. There I was given oxygen as my lungs had been affected, but I was alive and I know for sure that I owe this only to God.

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