Julian Ottley

Summer 1986- Lake Guerrero, Texas Julian Ottley blacked out while swimming with friends in the lake in the summer of 1986. Luckily, his friends Sarah and Jim were there to save him and prevent a needless death.

Survivor’s account of the incident: “I may have tried to laugh off my “shallow water blackout” down in Mexico, but I have always recognized that I could have drowned if you (or someone) had not been there to pull me out. To me it was one of those freak experiences in life where I realize I could have died but, did not. I was very fortunate that there were people around paying attention to what I was doing. Especially Sarah who recognized there was a problem and made you quickly jump in to pull me out. What I remember about the experience was Dick Lee challenging me to swimming underwater laps, I didn’t realize it at the time but, he had been doing a lot of snorkeling in the Bahamas and had learned to control his need for H20, I guess. Anyway, as kids Dudley, Jr. & I use to always have the underwater races at the farm pool and I had never seen anyone “black out” doing it and i was pretty good at pushing the limits of it. I know hyperventilating was a trick we used to get as much air in the lungs as possible and I did that before my final race against Dick. I think, I actually swam maybe 3 1/4 laps underwater in the pool before realizing I needed to give up the race and surface for air. After that, I don’t remember anything until I “came to” at the side of the pool with a bunch of people standing over me. I remember them asking if I was alright and all I could knew was that my back was killing me from where I was dragged out of the pool over the concrete. I know I have never swam underwater laps sense, for obvious reasons, it give me quite a scare. I guess the “black out” was just that, a black out, as I don’t remember any of it? But, I do credit you (Jim Kennedy and Sarah) for saving my life, I am sure every second counts in a situation like that and I have no doubt your quick response made the difference.”