Conference Featured Near-Death Experiences While Swimming




The International Swimming Hall of Fame hosted a fascinating and visionary “Conference on Near-Death Experiences While Drowning”, on August 18. Since its inception in 1965, ISHOF has been the “Mecca of Aquatics”, bringing together many fascinating people and acting as the facilitator for knowledge exchange. This conference brought attention to near-death experiences during a drowning episode, a very important issue largely neglected by most aquatic safety professionals.

“I could see, floating in the air, the lifeguards attempting to resuscitate a lifeless body; it was mine.”; “I saw a bright light that asked me, in a life review, what I have done in my life for love and learning.”; “I felt peace and no fear of death.” These are the words of people reporting what they experienced during the time they “died” temporarily during a drowning episode, as reported by Jan Holden, Ed.D. and S. Avramidis, Ph.D. in their book Near-Death Experiences While Drowning.

Such reports are termed near-death experiences (NDEs). Contemporary advances in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation have enabled lifeguards and first responders to bring large numbers of victims back to life, heretofore unprecedented in human history. Of the millions of those who survive drowning each year, approximately 20 percent of survivors report NDEs.

For local information and meetings on near-death and similar experiences, visit TucsonIANDS.org. See ad, page 9.

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