People Willingly Entering The Water And Drowning

escargot

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#1
I read about this in the early 1970s, in the Daily Mirror, with photos.

A young man who'd just graduated from Oxford or Cambridge was at an outdoor riverside party held to celebrate his success.

Suddenly he got up and walked determinedly into the river, fully clothed, and drowned himself before anyone could lift a finger. I remember at least three photos of him wading deeper and deeper into the water, until it nearly covered his head.

Nobody knew why he'd done it: he wasn't drunk or drugged and hadn't seemed depressed. In fact he was a successful graduate with a glittering future.

Does anyone else remember this?
 

caroleaswas

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#2
Reminds me of that 70s film 'Neither the Sea Nor the Sand' which ends with Susan Hampshire wading into the sea at Corbiere (Jersey) in a similar fashion. But she had a rather Fortean reason for doing so.

Don't remember the story about the graduate, though.

Carole
 

phi23

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#3
This reminds me of the untimely death of the great Jeff Buckley.

On the night of May 29 1997, he and a friend traveled to the local Mud Island Harbor, where Buckley spontaneously decided to go swimming in the Mississippi River and waded into the water fully clothed. A few minutes later, he disappeared under the waves; authorities were quickly contacted, but to no avail -- on June 4, his body was finally found floating near the city's famed Beale Street area. Buckley was 30 years old.
 

mejane

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#6
My Mum tried to do something similar in about 1973. We were on a family holiday in Hornsea (Yorkshire) and were all splashing around in the sea when Mum suddenly stood up and walked determindly further and further away from the beach and out to sea :confused:

Fortunately, Dad went after her and managed to bring her back. I was too young at the time to really understand what had happened (I still don't understand, for that matter!) - I just remember that she suddenly stopped laughing and playing with us and walked away. When Dad brought her back to the beach she seemed dazed and faraway, but then she just snapped out of it and acted as if nothing had happened!

I was talking to the old dears about this this morning (after having read this thread - no spooky coincidence there!) Dad remembers it clearly and says that it was one of the scariest moments in his life. Mum claimed not to know what we were talking about and quickly changed the subject.

I don't think it was a conscious suicide attempt (we pesky kids weren't that bad - honestly!). It was more as if she was possessed by something. Maybe she heard the song of the Sirens?

Thankfully nothing like that has happened again - but we did spend the rest of that holiday wandering around the moors, keeping as far away from the sea as possible.

Jane.
 

Altres

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#7
I remember staying at Iona Abbey on the famous (and decidedly scarey) island about 20+ years ago. There was a story about a woman visiting the island in the 1930's, who stayed in the abbey, sleep-walking down to the ocean and wading out to her death at precisely the point an ancient pier had been. Apparently many people have "seen" the pier but have woken up with the shock of the cold water before drowning.
 

wilbur42

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#8
On a similar but slightly different note, I have often puzzled over notices posted in Oxford colleges during my time as a 'student', asking for information about the identity/fate of a man seen stuggling in the river late at night.
Without recalling the exact details, I remember that the notice appealed for help in tracing the unfortunate individual, described as a young man in smart evening dress - possibly even black tie? He had been seen by passersby from a bridge - I assume Folly Bridge - and could not be rescued as following heavy rains the river was flowing too fast. I remeber thinking it odd that no-one had been reported as missing - hence, I assume, the reason for the notices - and never came across the outcome of this unhappy tale.
This would have been some time in 2000/1 - most likely in the winter although I'm not sure. Does anyone know??
 
A

Anonymous

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#10
Remnants of a mermaid ancestry?

Or something more sinister (been thinking of Lovecraft a bit lately, it might be affecting my imagination)...
 
A

Anonymous

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#11
mejane said:
I don't think it was a conscious suicide attempt (we pesky kids weren't that bad - honestly!). It was more as if she was possessed by something. Maybe she heard the song of the Sirens?
Perhaps behaviour like that inspired such legends.
 

Altres

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#13
I don't think so. For one thing it is usually only new age (sewage?) types that visit the Abbey, for their own reasons, so no great loss there. Also it makes for good mythology, and I for one am willing to risk the lives of a few more head-bursts. Alt
 

fayyaad

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#14
Reminds me of the legends of the rusulka....cant recall TOO much abt these lasses, but apparently they had a habit of calling people to watery graves of one sort or another. :eek!!!!:
 

EnolaGaia

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#17
I remember staying at Iona Abbey on the famous (and decidedly scarey) island about 20+ years ago. There was a story about a woman visiting the island in the 1930's, who stayed in the abbey, sleep-walking down to the ocean and wading out to her death at precisely the point an ancient pier had been. Apparently many people have "seen" the pier but have woken up with the shock of the cold water before drowning.
The Iona story sounds like the mysterious 1929 death of Netta Fornario:

https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/the-strange-death-of-netta-fornario.63133/

... except that Fornario died of apparent exposure on land rather than walking into the sea.
 

Ringo

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#18
My Mum tried to do something similar in about 1973. We were on a family holiday in Hornsea (Yorkshire) and were all splashing around in the sea when Mum suddenly stood up and walked determindly further and further away from the beach and out to sea :confused:

Fortunately, Dad went after her and managed to bring her back. I was too young at the time to really understand what had happened (I still don't understand, for that matter!) - I just remember that she suddenly stopped laughing and playing with us and walked away. When Dad brought her back to the beach she seemed dazed and faraway, but then she just snapped out of it and acted as if nothing had happened!

I was talking to the old dears about this this morning (after having read this thread - no spooky coincidence there!) Dad remembers it clearly and says that it was one of the scariest moments in his life. Mum claimed not to know what we were talking about and quickly changed the subject.

I don't think it was a conscious suicide attempt (we pesky kids weren't that bad - honestly!). It was more as if she was possessed by something. Maybe she heard the song of the Sirens?

Thankfully nothing like that has happened again - but we did spend the rest of that holiday wandering around the moors, keeping as far away from the sea as possible.

Jane.
That gave me the shivers.
 

amarok2005

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#19
Dr. Donald Omand was the minister at Christ Church, Oxford, who famously exorcised Loch Ness and the Bermuda Triangle. When he was ten years old, he noticed that his grandfather, "a stern Calvanistic minister," seemed to devote a lot of time to praying for sailors and others who depended on the sea for a livelihood. His grandfather explained it was because of something he called "Sea Madness":

"He quoted cases of men he had known who had been mysteriously attracted by the sea and had surrendered themselves 'impetuously and voluntarily to a watery grave.' It seemed that most of these victims were descendants of the Scandinavians who had settled in the islands, though later Donald learned that the phenomenon was known to the folk of the Western Islands of Scotland as well as the inhabitants of Orkney and Shetland."

Later the young Omand read a book called The Divine Adventure by William Sharp (under the pseudonym Fiona Macleod), which devoted several pages to the subject:

"He was watching a man ploughing. Suddenly he threw down his cromak. He leaped over a dyke, and ran to the shore, calling, 'I'm coming! I'M COMING! DON'T PULL ME -- I'm coming!' He fell upon the rocks, which had a blue bloom on them like fruit, for they were covered with mussels; and he was torn, so that his hands and face were streaming red. 'I am your red, red love,' he cried, 'Sweetheart, my love'; and with that he threw himself into the sea."

Alexander, Marc. The Man Who Exorcised the Bermuda Triangle (Cranbury, NJ: A. S. Barnes and Co., 1978), pp. 89-91.
 

catseye

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#20
That gave me the shivers.
Thanks to Scargy for resurrecting this thread - how fascinating!

In the case of MeJane's post, I was wondering how old the children playing on the beach were? That kind of disconnected behaviour is sometimes seen in women suffering from Post Natal Depression, which can onset later than actual birth. I would be curious to know whether mother had been suppressing symptoms but suddenly found herself overcome. Or alternatively, had found herself in charge of watching the children, packing the lunches, organising the holiday etc etc (in the frequent way that women take on an overload of tasks without really realising that it's not a holiday, it's just washing up in a different sink) and had just 'had enough' and wanted to demonstrate to her husband and children that she needed a little more care.
 
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