It is no exaggeration that my buddy Jamie Cashion and I both would have lost our lives today, along with 8 others, if it wasn’t for the miraculous power of the Lord Jesus Christ. A TRUE MIRACLE TOOK PLACE TODAY!
After 3 really great dives we went into the water with blue skies. The boat was full of very pro divers, except for me. I just got my scuba license 4 months ago and this was only my 12th dive so I ran out of air a few minutes before the pros and came up first after a great fast currant dive against the famous “wall”.
As I climbed up out of the water and into the boat, I could see a squall line approaching fast, which is a fast moving rain band from hurricane Earl, passing just south of us.
By the time I got my tank off, I couldn’t see land and we were only a half mile out or so. Behind the curtain of rain was a straight line wind and when it hit us a wave sent our little boat into the air and the captain and I both hit the 2 150 horse power engines at the back of the boat. It was a miracle I didn’t go into the water and I had no flotation device yet. Nearly everything in the boat went into the water, including several tanks, and I still cannot believe the boat didn’t capsize. I was trying to find my fins because I didn’t think the boat would remain afloat.
For the next 30-4O minutes just the 2 of us were in this boat like some kind of a horrible, washing machine. We could not see anything. It was raining so hard and the wind was blowing so hard that the boat would turn every way you can imagine. At one point the engines got flooded and one of them stopped. One time we became airborne and the wind caught the boat, I honestly thought there might be a “water spout” hidden in the rain and we were off to see the wizard. We were in the air a lot longer than we should have been and when we hit it was a mighty crash with the nose way in the air and oxygen tanks flying everywhere.
For about 2 or 3 minutes he was frantically trying to get the boat started again. Again a miracle happened and they started, had they not, we would have capsized. I was yelling in English, “which way is the land and which way are our friends?” knowing that Jamie and the six other divers were going to come up into that horrible mess and knowing it would be impossible to find them. We didn’t even really have control of the boat.
After about 40 minutes, something like being in a very dark and very wet car wreck , the winds died down but the rain did not. We saw something in front of us through the rain and finally realized we were about to run right into a docked cruise ship. As scary as that was, we finally knew where we were. About 7-9 miles from where our friends should be floating at. The storm had blown us all the way to downtown Cozumel. The captain, a real small Mexican guy, pointed towards the area, it was still really bad out there and then he punched it. I was amazed because I really didn’t know if he would go back out there.
We never got back into the 50-60mph (maybe even higher) winds again but the rain was still torrential. I pulled my phone out and tried calling my wife, Leanna. I thought about leaving a message but changed my mind. I couldn’t reach her, so I called Jerry Sellers and we connected. Screaming into the phone, through the wind and the rain, I yelled “tell the Elders in our church to pray for me. Jamie and 6 other people are floating around in the ocean and we can’t even see ten feet. The boat has nearly capsized a dozen times and I’m not kidding this is a serious situation. We have got to find everybody”. Before Jerry could respond, all the rain killed my phone and it hasn’t worked since.
I was praying, declaring, and quoting the word. We drove in circle 8’s for a while. It was still raining hard and sometimes you could see but most of the time visibility was less that 30-50 yards. I was seriously concerned we might run over somebody. I was more concerned that we wouldn’t find any of them, I mean how could we and we are only about an hour and a half from nightfall.
By now, nearly an hour had passed since I first climbed in the boat. A clearing in the rain revealed the coast line and bam!!! I saw a light bulb flash In the ocean. It just so happened somebody diving had an emergency light. We went flying towards it and the first person I saw was Jamie. It was only him and 2 others, they had been separated from the other 4.
I was so excited it was Jamie and so disappointed that the other four were out there somewhere, including a teenage girl on her 50th plus dive with her mom and an old man.
To make a very long story a little bit shorter, we found them…I mean all four of them! Exhausted and worn out, but ok, and yes, it was a miracle!!! We all hugged each other on the boat. The mama was crying…the guys were trying not to.
So, thank you for your prayers and thank you KING JESUS. I’ve been in some scary stuff before but this one is way, way, way up there. I felt the presence of the Lord. He was with me. I didn’t know if we were going to live or if we were going to drown. I didn’t know if I was gong to be the only one found or if we would find everybody, but I knew God was with us. THANK YOU KING JESUS FOR NOT LEAVING US IN THE STORM. Hurricane Earl didn’t win. Jesus did. What is the storm compared to the God who walks on it!
Isaiah 43:2 (NKJV)
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.