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General News · 31st January 2019
Anne Dzakovic
I had a very close call in gunflint lake yesterday and I feel compelled to share my story since so many of you worked together to get me and Gael out safely.

It happened very quickly, one minute we were driving to the library for story time and the next minute we were upsidedown in the car which was rapidly filling with water. It felt like I had been dropped into the middle of a horrible dream.

When we first hit the water I managed to get Gael out of his car seat and then I frantically tried to open the doors and windows but they wouldn't open. Then it got dark quickly and I got disoriented as the car sank more and the water rose. I found a pocket of air for us somewhere and realized that the water had stopped rising so I started yelling for help.
Very quickly there was someone there telling me that they were going to help us, and I felt a huge relief that I was not alone in trying to get us out of that nightmare. When they got Gael out safely I felt more relief and when I finally emerged there were so many cars and concerned people, it was very overwhelming.

I want to thank everyone who helped get us out of there safely.
I want to especially thank Miranda who noticed the car tires while riding by and decided to investigate further, and then acted very quickly to get help. I believe she saved our lives.
Thank you to the man who was talking to me through the car.
Thank you to whoever smashed the window and pried open the door.
Thank you to whoever took care of Gael while I was still stuck inside.
Thank you to the fire station for arriving so quickly and Thank you to the ambulance attendants Ashe and Blanca for being so calm and kind.
Thank you to the health center for caring for us and warming us up.
Thank you to everyone who was there and helped and who has sent me well wishes, it all means so much.

This is by far the most terrifying and traumatic experience of my life and I have a lot of emotions flowing through me - mostly relief and gratitude but also guilt and sadness which I think will take some time to process.
Physically Gael and I are fine and he seems unaffected. When we got home last night he played with lego and chased the cat around, so all normal.

For the folks who were there helping us - I imagine it wasn't an easy experience for you either so if you feel compelled, please reach out and say hi and tell me your story too, I would like to thank you and give you a big hug.

big love to all
Anne (and Gael and Sam)
935 6767
Wishing you the best...
Comment by Arden Varnel on 10th February 2019
To you, a stranger with a name, and children, from me, in Berkeley, CA, who happened upon your harrowing story while looking at travel ideas to Cortes: SO GLAD your tires were seen by Miranda, that your town folks saved you, that you are loved. Gael might have some trauma (post-traumatic stress) symptoms, most naturally and appropriately, as you most likely will, too, in due time. That experience has hit your body and mind, “big time.” Stress trauma is often hidden for awhile underneath, and might crop up in nightmares, or fears of driving by water, for examaple A good book about many symptoms (and how to calm down the bodymind,) from many kinds of stress events is one that helped me deeply: “The Body Keeps the Score” by Besel van der Kolk, MD. Very readable. Wishing you the very best, as well as Gael and Sam. Blessings on your community as well.
How to get out of a submerged vehicle
Comment by Penny Thompson on 6th February 2019
I'm sure this report scared us all, and thanks to everyone who jumped to help in true Cortes style. We all might benefit from viewing this Rick Mercer segment. It offers tips and advice on how to get out of a submerged vehicle. It also prompted me to buy a ResQMe device to cut seatbelts and break car windows from inside. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZuZgSQZJ9g
Sending love!
Comment by Jeramie on 4th February 2019
So glad you are safe!
Sending love
Comment by Brittany Baxter on 1st February 2019
Sending so much love to you and Sam and Gael, and all the folks who helped. Thanks for sharing your story and updating us all that you're ok.
So so glad you're ok
Comment by Josée on 31st January 2019
Much love to you guys! What an ordeal♡ Healing thoughts and emotions may flow. Let them flow. We have each other here on Cortes to hold onto and appreciate and love. See you soon at the Coop.