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"They Just Swam Out and Disappeared!"
This is a true story of an incident that occurred back in the late 70’s or early 80’s.
Living in Southern California, we all had an abundance of recreational activities available to us, anything from surfing to snow skiing, often times on the same day. I was a constant beach goer, and was an avid SCUBA diver. On one particular occasion, my diving buddy and myself were spear fishing off of Corona Del Mar, a popular beach in Orange County.
We had spent the better part of the morning snorkeling around the jetties and deep diving in the open water. After awhile we began to get hungry, but were hesitant to drag our heavy gear up through the surf to get a bite to eat at one of the beach’s concession stands. We decided to leave our gear on the bottom about 100 yards from the beach marked with a small buoy and swim to shore.
It was a nice sunny day. We relaxed for awhile as we ate our lunch and sat in the sand while we let our food digest. Not far from where we were sitting was an elderly woman that was visiting California from the east. She was enjoying the sunny weather as well. She began talking to us, and we told her about the sights to see in So Cal, all the great hot spots, and filled her in on how she can get the most out of her vacation. She was very appreciative for our information.
Soon we had to go. Our food had digested enough to go back into the water, and we said our goodbyes to her and returned to the surf, swam out and retrieved our gear. We continued our dive and eventually came ashore in the calmer waters of Newport Channel on the other side of the jetty. As we were walking to our car, we noticed a crowd on the beach where we were sitting with the old woman. There was a lifeguard truck there, and a lifeguard boat out in the water. I asked a passerby what had happened.
“There’s an old lady down there that swears that she was talking to two guys that just got up and swam out to sea and disappeared. They’ve been looking for them for about 45 minutes.”
We never told anyone.
Copyright 2010 by Delbert Banks