“I can’t swim.” I kept telling myself. The old saying that you have flash backs of your life is very true. I instantly thought in those minutes about my Dad and Mom, what they would do, how would they take it, and what about my unborn baby I was carrying?
You see the day started out sunny and bright and not too hot. My husband Gary and I along with his friend Kenny and his wife Amy decided to go fishing. The guys were stationed at the Pensacola Naval Base. We rented a row boat from a place on the base and the life preservers (this was in the 70’s and it was the square ones you sat on most of the time). Not smart but we did it, you see everyone could swim except me.
We were going to fish in the channel off one side or the other. This was the gulf side of the state and the channel led out to the Gulf of Mexico. At the end of this long channel docked the U.S.S Lexington, the aircraft carrier that was the training ship that my husband was stationed on.
Other boats were cruising up and down the channel too, many causing waves. Some were drifting and hitting the side of our boat some of the water actually splashed in.
We had been out about forty-five minutes when I noticed water coming into the bottom of the row boat. It was entering rapidly and as I yelled, my husband stood up to jump, but actually just stepped out. While Kenny and Amy swam around and tried to capture poles, shoes, tackle boxes and yes the life preservers, my husband reached me. I couldn’t swim but being pregnant, I bobbed around a lot. I had my arm around his neck, pushing him up and down as he hung on to the boat, it had turned over and he tried to keep it with us.
The current was strong in the channel and it didn’t take us long to find ourselves close to the USS Lexington. One of the larger boats that had passed us was turning round to pick us up. I asked my husband how much longer, he told me to hang on it wouldn’t be long. As he told me this I looked up and we were under the bow of the Lexington. It stuck out there a good ways. And was it Big-g!
The cruiser pulled up to us as they reached for the poles and such. The back of the boat had a ladder attached to it, only trouble was that as you climbed it, you were leaning back, how was an almost seven month pregnant lady soaking wet going to do that? I was in shock, I think; I had so many thoughts and things flying around in my head now, about the baby’s safety. I knew we were going to be saved. My husband helped me up the ladder by pushing me and holding me at the same time. They had attached a line to pull the green boat back to the dock also.
The others were joking, now that it was over, about the current carrying us down to the Lexington and how deep it was there, after all it was a carrier and it needed a lot of water below it to dock and I remembered it was the Gulf.
Later, I called my Mom and Dad and told them of the event and that our baby was ok. I just had to talk with them. Just to hear their voice.
It left no known problems for any of us, but I told myself I would not get into another boat, ever. I was glad the good Lord was watching out for all of us that day. You see I didn’t know the Lord then, I believed in God, but had not given my heart to Jesus.
If I had drowned that day, by life would have been over and my choice to give my life to Jesus would not have been possible, I called out ‘Dear Lord help us’ and He did, but do you think that would have been enough for me to enter Heaven? I would have gone down into the very deep, dark water and woke up where?
Needless to say, we made it and sometime later our life took a ‘right turn’. But that’s another story of twists and turns for later.
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