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Old 12-07-2014, 18:51   #1
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How Close have you come to Dying?

This is not your normal dinner conversation but it is good to learn from your mistakes so it's not a daily occurance. Can only think of two times my life flashed in front of me. While diving around Vancouver I got caught in some big strands of seaweed which cut off my air supply. Pulled the whole lot to the surface, fortunately. Did a sky diving course with a visiting club. There was about 20 learning to parachute and our first jump was from 2500 feet. The girl who jumped just before me caught particular attention to the safety guys on the plane. Later I found out her parachute didn't open and used the reserve. Only seconds to react from that low height. Conclusion of an investigation, the parachute was improperly packed. I think of the 1 in 20 chance of it being me and not getting the reserve out. Havn't done enough sailing to to enjoy being close to dying.
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Old 12-07-2014, 18:54   #2
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Re: How close have you come to dying?

Every time I challenge the authority of the Admiralů..
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Old 12-07-2014, 19:08   #3
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Re: How close have you come to dying?

As a nine-year-old, running into a pool with a tube around my waist and then flipping upside done. Or was it as a 1970s commuter when approaching the tunnel on Hwy 24 going eastward when a westward car crossed into my lane but thankfully the lane to my right was clear? Surely, there were many other instances I wasn't aware.
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Old 12-07-2014, 19:10   #4
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Re: How close have you come to dying?

Almost impossible to determine "how close" unless one has an "illness"

The only one that comes to mind is food poisoning in the Philippines. I was young and single, felt quesy at the happy hour with my boss. Went home and in 6 hours could not walk from bed to toilet. Woke up on teh floor the next noon. I reckon in hindsight I could have died of dehydration - Lesson? Know when to call for help.

Then there are activities - I have a low risk threshold but I have done skydiving, scuba, dirt biking. Would never do parasailng or bungee jumping - I don't put my life in the hands of others.

Then there is just stupid stuff - 3 weeks ago I got the dremel out and had to cut away a bulkhead. I had 220v dremel in my hand and my bare feet were in a pool of water in the boat. I didn't die but that was one stupid maneuver.

One time flying from NC to Ohio I "suckered" myself into instrument conditions by continually lowering my altitude and dodging clouds. I penetrated a cloud bank at about 800 AGL in the mountains - totally stupid.

Another time flying I decided to bypass a remote fuel stop (in the desert) and push to the destination. When I fueled up I had like 2 gallons of fuel left - totally stupid.

Near misses - I have missed big accidents at least 3 times. Multi car freeway pile ups.

Knock wood Murphy and Darwin haven't focused on me yet...
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Old 12-07-2014, 19:16   #5
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Re: How close have you come to dying?

1/2 inch. Distance bullet missed the femoral artery by.
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Old 12-07-2014, 19:44   #6
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Re: How close have you come to dying?

Fell off the boat once. On the hard. Woke up with a fractured skull, bleeding in the brain and a shattered collar bone. The head injury was rated rather minor. The collarbone took 6 months to heal. Why I didn't die is a mystery to me - I have no recollection of what happened on the way down.
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Old 12-07-2014, 19:55   #7
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Re: How close have you come to dying?

When I was 8 yrs old, growing up in Chula Vista, I was sitting on a block wall on our property that faced an alley. A guy about 20 yrs old or so broke a bottle and held it to my throat, demanding money. I didn't have any, and told him so. After a few tense seconds, he let me go and took off. It seemed like a lot longer.

When I was 12 yrs old, in Key West, FL, I was jumped in the locker room by 3 "brothers" right when a race riot started. Missed my jugular by 1/4", according to the doctor who put in 9 stitches. My mom said if I had bled any more in her car she would have killed me at the side of the road. LOL

At around 20 or 21 yrs old, I became obsessed with road racing and would practice on tight, remote mountain roads. I was averaging about 1.5 -2x the speed limit. Twice I lost control and stopped with 1 tire hanging off of a cliff. It took a few seconds to regain my composure...

At 22, I was forced off the fwy at about 65 mph and ended up flipping my VW bug about 5 or 6 times before it finally stopped. All windows were shattered, everything inside the car was scattered all over the road. Everyone who witnessed it was amazed that I got out of that without a scratch, they thought I was dead for sure.

Twice in the Navy, on my first sub. First time the helmsman miscalculated his angle and speed while diving to test depth and the boat, especially the bow compartment exceeded test depth - by a lot. We heard horrendous noises from the HY-80 pressure hull and most of us thought the next noise was going to be an immediate implosion. The Chief of the Watch's hands were white knuckled on the chicken switches (emergency blow) but the Diving Officer never gave the order. Instead, he increased bell and ordered an up angle and we drove to the surface, a lot slower than anyone liked.

The second time we experienced a short between the DC shore power cables, which no one even knew we had. All circuit breakers - DC and AC tripped, which also scrammed the nuclear reactor. We were very deep, with no power, no emergency lighting, all electrical power was lost. With triple redundant systems, that's theoretically impossible. We used hydraulics and pneumatics to maintain rudder and planes control and emergency blew to the surface. We reset the DC breakers, started the diesel with air and flashed the TGs, while the nukes restarted the reactor, possibly the fastest reactor start in naval history. We had lost air conditioning, so everyone was down to their shorts and t-shirts, all crypto was lost. We surfaced and started contacting COMSUBPAC and CINCPACFLT on open HF comms, which raised some eyebrows, that's for sure!! LOL

Within a couple of hours, everything was running, all systems restored, crypto loaded, SitReps transmitted. When we returned to port, a full scale investigation began as to how we shorted the DC shore power cables and why all of the breakers tripped. Some engineer calculated how much power was stored in the battery and told us we were extremely lucky to have survived, since the battery should have exploded, with the force of a small tactical nuke. We should have all been fish food. Fortunately it wouldn't have set off the real nukes onboard, which would have been a really interesting "training operations" story for the Navy's PR dept. to spin out. LOL
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Old 12-07-2014, 19:57   #8
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Re: How close have you come to dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
1/2 inch. Distance bullet missed the femoral artery by.
Was it the wife or GF doing the shooting?

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Old 12-07-2014, 20:18   #9
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Re: How close have you come to dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
Was it the wife or GF doing the shooting?

In the good old days it was usually the butler
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Old 12-07-2014, 20:41   #10
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Re: How close have you come to dying?

Helicopter pilot lost control of ship while coming into fuel. His quick thinking prevented us from going under power into a loaded fuel truck. Afterwards he told the two occupants we could tell everyone we almost died in a horrific helicopter crash that day. We all laid on the ground for several hours afterwards. The ship had experienced a text book only malfunction.

Still love helicopters nevertheless.
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Old 12-07-2014, 21:11   #11
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Re: How close have you come to dying?

When I was just over a year old, I was rushed to the hospital with a fever that was over 106║F. They never did find the cause, and the doctor said that I almost died.

In 9th grade, I took 50 phenobarbitol tablets. I was in the hospital for a week from that OD. They told my parents that I shouldn't have lived.

In high school, I would play Russian Roulette some mornings just to see if the day was worth living. (Kids shouldn't watch The Deerhunter.)

Then, there were the gang fights. The others always seemed to have guns, we didn't.

I was shot at several times in my 20's. The closest that a bullet came was less than 8" away.

Racing mountain curves, and sliding with the rear wheel going over the edge.

The most recent times happened a few years ago, when I was working on some helicopter pilot emergency procedure training videos. The first incident was in Shreveport, LA, when we were shooting a segment about what to do when you lose an engine on take-off. I was running the cameras in the helicopter, and as we were taking off, the co-pilot cut the left engine, as he was supposed to do. What we didn't know was that the pilot couldn't get enough power from the other engine because the air intake was clogged with grass clippings. He kept saying. "Dave, we don't have enough power. Dave, we're not going to make it." Well, Dave (co-pilot) thought it was part of the training, so he didn't bring the engine back on line.
Just as we were about to hit the trees along the Red River, Paul (Pilot) tilted the nose up, and parted the trees with the rotor wash, and we cleared them by less than 3'. The ground camera captured it all, including the camera man saying, "Oh, ****, they're gonna die! They're gonna die!"
A few weeks later, on another training segment, we missed getting hit by a Cessna 182 by less than 20'. He didn't see the helicopter flying under him as he was coming in for a landing.

Other than those times, things have been pretty routine.
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Old 12-07-2014, 21:23   #12
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Re: How close have you come to dying?

Too many times to count. So what's for dinner?
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Old 12-07-2014, 21:44   #13
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But for the grace of God...
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Old 12-07-2014, 23:34   #14
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Re: How close have you come to dying?

I don't know how close I've come but I once wrote down the names of all the people I knew, many close friends some just met once, who had died flying ultralight airplanes and hang gliders. The list had 15 people on it. No wonder my wife was so happy when I sold my last ultralight.
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Old 12-07-2014, 23:53   #15
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Re: How close have you come to dying?

About 10 feet. Was walking the dog along the fence between the flight line and the road to the BX on an Air Force Base . . . I walked the dog a couple of miles every day, and I liked looking at the planes. On that particular day, a plane crashed into a hangar right before my very eyes, with flaming airplane parts raining onto the road in front of me.

Or by about 2 inches . . . driving down an icy mountain road -- the kind with no guardrail. Some idiot decided to pass me, spun out and missed me by about two inches before he hit a tree that miraculously stopped him from going completely over the edge.

Or about three feet -- in my college days raced Lightnings with my then-boyfriend. There was no wind, we were losing; he had a temper tantrom and took hold of the boom and flung it across the cockpit at me. I got hit and went over the side . . . into three feet of water, more or less. I waded/swam to shore and he got disqualified for finishing the race with fewer crew than he started with. (And that was the last time I went out with him!)
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