Ok, so this is a short (actually its not that short ;-)) re-count about something that happened to me this week – something that could have been one of the worst days of not just my life, but my kids, my extended family and a bunch of other people that were around…
It was a beautiful sunny summers day, so we decided to go to a river beach to swim with the visiting mainland cousins. It was also a bonus that the cousins grand-dad has a boat! That meant a boat ride and a pretty awesome platform for jumping into the river.
The day went really well as we all swam, ate lunch, swam again, had boat rides and the kids performed some amazing flips from the boat into the river – there was loads of smiles and laughter! It really was a super day…
There was a yell and a splash and we all turned around to see a child fall into the water at the end of the jetty. Everyone on the jetty stood there looking out into the water as the boy started to panic, yelling “I can’t swim, help…”. The people on the jetty, including his family and some overseas hippy type tourists, started holding long poles etc. out to the boy, he couldn’t reach them.. One of the men in the boys group finally jumped into the water to help the boy, who was now getting quite frantic because the tide/rip was pushing him away from the jetty fast.
So we all sort of turned away, thinking it was ok now, the man would help the boy get the last couple of meters back to the jetty…
Within 30 seconds we could hear two people calling thrashing around in the water. We turned back to see the boy (around 11-12 years old) thrashing around and pulling the man who was trying to help him under the water. The man was doing all he could to help the boy back to the jetty, pushing against the tide – but he was loosing strength and starting to panic himself! We watched, mouths wide open as he pushed the boy away, calling out, “help, I can’t do this”.. His head started to bob up and down under the water too…
Suddenly everyones mood changed – we all took action!
My brother-in yelled – “theres life jackets in the boat!” – the boat was tied up on the jetty.
Then we all yelled – “get the life jackets out of the boat!”
Simon, his brother & Barry (the boat owner), took off running to the jetty – at least 30 metres away!
In the meantime the boys father had grabbed a couple of life jackets and thrown them into the the water.
One of the hippie girls jumped in from the jetty and swam to the boy while I had entered the water from the shore and started swimming out to the them. The Hippy girl reached the boy first and calmed him down, getting him to rest while the life jacket supported him. I reached the man not long after, by which time he was also resting on a life jacket trying to not be taken too far away on the strong current.
I grabbed hold of the life jacket and talked to him about being calm & started to kick our way back to the shore pulling him and the life jacket, while he rested – all the way back to the shore I could tell he was in shock, talking about how hard it was for him to hold the boy out of the water when he was pulling him under the water and how he had lost all of his strength really fast. I don’t think he was a great swimmer, which made the act of him jumping in very brave – which I told him. We also talked about just how fast things changed from being alright to “life threatening”!
Finally, we helped both the boy and the man to the shore where they sat in obvious shock at what they had just experienced.
I looked around, I saw 3 of our children and my niece and nephew taking in all that had just unfolded – its probably the closest they have ever been to a “near tragedy”.. Just for them to witness how quickly things can change and how we can’t always be bystanders – sometimes we all need to step up and help out and make decisions at the spur of the moment – was a great lesson for them.
Upon reflection I was a bit shaky when I came out of the water with the realisation of how close we all were to witnessing a real tragedy! Even as I took off into the water I remember thinking is this a good idea? Will I be able to swim across the current? Aren’t panicked people very dangerous in the water? etc.?
However my concern for the people in the water overcame those doubts and I trusted my swimming skills to be able to deal with the situation. I guess my point is that if I hadn’t been swimming all of my life and if I hadn’t done my bronze medallion in grade 10, maybe I would have decided to be a bystander instead of helping out.. The result may of been the same, whether I had gone into the water or not, but I’d like to think that my decision did at least make it easier for the man to get to shore in one piece 🙂
This situation makes me think about our businesses and how to prepare for things that we don’t know are going to happen! Well I guess planning ahead is one thing you can do to make sure that you have all your ‘bases covered’ & that you make the most of every opportunity.
Have you planned your marketing for 2014? If not, we can help, come along to our new one day workshop and get all the hard work done in one day. Be prepared for the year 2014 so that even when you are hit with unexpected things you can handle them.
The new date is 6th February 2014. All the details can be found here: http://michoninternational.com/workshops-and-resources/plan-to-succeed-in-2014/ – which has been updated with the new details.
Again there will only be 10 spots available – this is a hands on workshop where we will work with you to make those important decision and fill your activity planner for 2014 – any more businesses in the room and it wouldn’t work!
Click here to register and find out more about the workshop
If you have any questions let me know – we’d love to see you on 6th February.
I’d also love to hear about any of your ‘close calls’ – leave us a comment 🙂
P.S. If you’re already booked into the first workshop next week, thats awesome! Why not forward this blog post to your friends with businesses so they too can start the year in the very best way possible? Being prepared! They’ll thank you 🙂
P.P.S. Hope you are staying cool!