This is the first post after my near death experience today. I am very glad to be sending this. Nearly six and half hours ago, I fell out of my boat while running across the lake at 30mph. I was not wearing a life jacket, didn't have my kill switch attached and was around 250 yards from shore in 48 degree water. No hope for swimming the entire distance in water this cold, though I tried! I will spare you the details, but if another boat had not picked me up 10 minutes later I would have died within another few minutes. It was very surreal. Being in water this cold and finally resigning yourself to the fact you will be dead in 5 minutes is very surreal.
Another boat saw my boat doing circles and looked around until they found me. I suffered from severe hypothermia and hypovolaemic shock by the time medics met my rescuers at the dock. My core temp was 88 and there was no circulation in my arms or legs. It took the hospital 3 hours to bring my temperature back to normal. I was just released.
Of course, I could have prevented this, but some clear thinking after the plunge saved me. As soon as I hit the water, I swam away from the boat and looked around. I understood I was in the best position phyiscally and mentally I would be in and needed to make a decision while I could still think. I knew which direction to swim to get to the shallowest area. I began swimming and after 5 minutes I couldn't swim any longer. I lost all feeling in my body and could no longer manage. I kicked with what I had left until I started to go under. My feet settled to the bottom! I stood there for 5 minutes with my face out of the water, staring at the sky.
By this time, I was having trouble standing and knew before long, I would slip under. I couldn't help it. I calmed myself so my last moments wouldn't be panicked. I didn't want to die scared.
The moral of this story is to always where your life jacket when you are alone, especially in the winter. When running, always attach the kill switch. These two things would have prevented this. Be careful out there.