Thursday, August 11, 2011

on the shipwreck {part two}.

the irving johnson. run aground, the day after the wreck. via here.
as we all got into our life jackets, you could feel the nervous energy on board. almost excitement, even. we were about to have a real adventure! couple that with the typical young adult attitude that we knew everything would be alright, it had to be, we weren't that worried yet. the ship was starting to be tossed side to side by the ocean as it's hull dug deeper and deeper into the sand channel it had run into. we all gathered on the side of the ship that looked into the shore and grabbed on. by then, a few waves had started to crash on board and we were all soaking wet.
the first wave that came over the ship, none of us saw coming. the boat tipped up on it's side so we were all looking down into the water, and when it tipped backwards the wave crashed over us. i struggled to hold on, and when we resurfaced the girl next to me started to cry. by then the energy and excitement were gone. a crowd had gathered on a rock jetty leading into the ocean, watching our struggle. coast guard helicopters were overhead, and they had sent a powerboat out to try and help us. when i saw that boat - how small it was, how big our boat us, how our boat couldn't stabilize in one place - that was when i got scared. i knew there was a real possibility some of us could get hurt, or worse. the second wave the engulfed the ship was stronger, and it shifted us all over a few feet. all in all, i was probably on the boat for 45 minutes, but it felt like 5. by the time the last wave came over us, we had someone watching behind us when we tipped down, warning us if a wave was coming. he shouted out to get ready, it was a big one.
later he said the wave seemed to be 15 to 20 feet tall. like a wall of water coming to us. who can say. i didn't look, and when your adrenaline is pumping everything looks a bit different. but i do know that wave felt different. when it came over us, i didn't fight. there was nothing to fight.
i immediately knew i had been washed overboard and off the ship.


  1. Aaahh c'mon Colleen! I'm sitting on the edge of my seat now! I need to know what happened!!!

  2. oh my gosh I'm freaking out! Part 1 and part 2 of this story are ridiculous! I can't believe this happened to use! on the edge of my seat for part 3!

  3. Oh my goodness! How quickly things can go from being exciting to being scary. I'm glad I know that it turns out okay!

  4. I'm having a hard time breathing reading this! I'm so terribly afraid of being lost at sea or drowning, it makes me wonder if I had drowned in a previous life. This is so intense!

  5. WOW! I am so glad you are safe and you seem so cool and calm.

  6. Keep going...keep going!!! You are a fantastic storyteller!!


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