Death Was Calling My Name… Luckily my Guardian Angel Plugged My Ears


This day started very similar to the last. The walk into the canyon was still very dangerous. It was raining today, so that added a little more spice to the already terrifying descent into the gorge. As soon as I got into the raft, I immediately noticed that the water was much more turbulent. Our paddle out of the cove was a lot more strenuous as well.

What followed was the most frightening few minutes of my entire life. The very first rapid (rapid #10, a class 4/5), “The Gnashing Jaws of Death” would be my nightmare for the next short while. The instant we hit the wave, I knew we were going over. As the raft tumbled over, it landed right on top of me, trapping me in the churning water. I could feel the raft slip away as a whirlpool dragged me down into the depths of the river and the light of the sun faded into a dark brown as I was dragged deeper under.  I felt like death himself had a hold on my neck and was pulling me into an abyss. My life passed before my eyes as I looked out into a dark brown fury of water.

Kicking my legs and thrashing my arms, I desperately tried to resurface but I kept being pulled deeper. What was probably only about 60 seconds felt like a millennium as I swallowed huge gulps of the Zambezi.

As I kicked and fought for my life, I swallowed more water and that 60 or so seconds felt like an hour. Then, it happened. My body just went still as I gave up, I thought that this was the end of my life. A calmness came over me.

A split second later, the life jacket did its job and I resurfaced, only to see that my raft was long gone. A splash of colour caught my attention in the sea of brown ferocious water. It was a blue kayak, manned by one of the safety team! As I gasped for air, “Enock” quickly made his way over to me, a sense of urgency and worry on his face. He instructed me to stay calm and how to hold on to his kayak as he steered me to a calmer part of the river. He literally saved my life.

This man is my hero, I told him he was my guardian angel and that he had in fact saved a life today. I kept smiling at him and high fiving him the rest of the day. I am alive today because of this man.

The Scariest Moment of My Life

The Scariest Moment of My Life


About Andrew Pateras

Andrew has lived in the GTA all his life and a good portion of his adult life has been devoted to sales. He studied Business Information Systems Management at Ryerson University. From there, he worked in sales for tier one organizations such as Hewlett Packard, Epson and Intel. Then as North American Sales Manager for GAP Adventures, he gained even more experience in negotiation and client service. Andrew has been a licensed real estate sales person since 2006. In 2007, Andrew also began a new venture in professional photography. Over the next number of years, he travelled on assignment all over the world. This is why he is meticulous when it comes to your marketing images! To say Andrew's travel and photography experience is extensive would definitely be an understatement. He has journeyed to remote and exotic locations in 48 countries on all six continents in search of adventure and authentic cultural experiences. Whether it is diving with great white sharks in South Africa, in a cage with Bengal tigers in northern Thailand or perched atop a land cruiser, photographing rhinos and lions in the Serengeti, he has likely photographed any holiday experience you can imagine. In 2015, Andrew earned the Directors Platinum award from Royal LePage for outstanding sales performance. Andrew's commitment as your real estate professional is to provide you with the specialized real estate service you deserve. Whether you're buying or selling, contact him with any questions that you may have. His promise to you is that your experience will be both stress-free and enjoyable. His focus is always YOU and the results you can expect from him.

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