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July 20th, 1995: Drew Kelly's Diary

July 20th, 1995:
It was bright and sunny on the shores of the Great Barrier Reef. Me and my mate , Steve McCray, were preparing to scuba dive at noon. We stretched our wet suits over our bodies and strapped on our oxygen tanks to our backs. We were joking around and laughing about how people say scuba diving is dangerous. We waded out into the cool, crystal clear water until we were up to our necks. Finally, we dove under. The sight was striking. Everything a light shimmer from the sun above and the coral was teeming with small sea life. As I breathed the tanked oxygen, I observed my scenery in wonderment. Suddenly, a florescent purple fish dashed by me and halted at a brilliant golden piece of coral. My eyes locked on it and I swiftly pursued it. I dove off the edge of a steep drop-off still swooshing after it. It zoomed down into the dark abyss and I followed without a second thought. I could see its miniscule glowing body swishing through the pitch black water. My fins were moving so fast they were bending in half with the force. Out of the blue, and I mean this quite literally, something snagged my wetsuit and ripped through my exposed skin. The tube connecting to my precious oxygen tank caught on whatever hit me and snatched me back violently into the rocks. I couldn’t see a thing. I realized I was breathing rapidly and that meant I was wasting my life giving air. I regulated my breath and that is when I remembered that I packed a water proof flashlight. My hand flew to my side and grasped the flashlight. I flicked the switch and it flashed on and what I saw in front of me, about twelve
feet away, chilled me to the very bone. The red cloud of my own blood parted to reveal the terrifying snout of a Great White Shark. I froze instantly. As my blood flowed towards the creature, it looked at me with its cold black eyes, like a doll's, and they slowly receded up and back to show just the whites. Then it lunged for me. I struggled to free myself but only managed to drop my light. I frantically looked up to see it getting closer and closer. Everything went dark again. Then I felt it. Those razor sharp teeth sank into my shoulder. My entire arm was lodged in this mighty beast's mouth. It jerked violently and what scared me the most is that I lost all feeling in my arm and the shark has stopped ripping. But the pain in my shoulder was mind numbing. My breathing was rapid again and I tried to reach my right arm up to attempt untangling myself again. What shocked me was that my arm wasn't there. My heartbeat raced and I felt like I was going to black out when I felt the crushing pain again. This time it was in my left leg. I screamed into my mouthpiece as I tried to escape what I knew would certainly be my death. The force of the massive carnivore finally had freed me from the rock prison. Then I had lost all feeling in my leg. This time it was just too much for me to handle. The last thing I remember seeing is the sharks dark form moving past and those soulless black eyes. Beyond all beliefs in my mind, I had survived. Steve had noticed I had been gone for quite an extensive amount of time and he swam down for me. He saw my mangled body, grabbed me, and swam to the surface to lay me on the soft white sand. I had to receive three hundred and forty five stitches all together. I lost my right arm and my left leg. I will never doubt the power of Mother Nature in the Down Under.

Drew Kelley





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