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55 gallon drum escape October 27th 2005

The night before my underwater drum escape my wife and I went through a dress rehearsal of the escape. I was handcuffed and placed in leg irons w/ a chain connecting the two. I was then locked into the drum with chains and padlocks on the outside of the drum...my wife knocked on the drum to signal I was locked in.

 I counted down ten seconds and worked on the cuffs and leg irons, I started working to release myself from the drum as she closed the curtain around me. Well, to my surprise I was not able to free myself from the drum, and stupid as this may sound, I did not let my wife know that if something were to go wrong, I would knock a certain way or if enough time had passed get me the heck outta there. I was trying not to panic and I guess I yelled when I realized I was not able to free myself (bad idea) I lost all of my air. I started to knock loudly on the can... louder and louder still... I have to admit I was getting scared, I thought about my life and those I care for and decided to hold on as long as I could, I did not want to die.

My body began shaking, my lungs burned, I strarted to loose conciousness, I thought "this is it!"

I finally heard the locks rattle and my wife Melissa got me out, I took a deep rattling breath and for a moment i thought I was still in the drum and dreaming, wishing I was free.

I later learned that she thought I was making all of the noise in the drum for effect! (My fault)

to this day I cannot explain the terror and psychic dread I felt and at times still feel from being underwater in complete darkness holding on for dear life.

I performed the escape the next night and it went off without a hitch. I just wanted to share this as a reminder to anyone who IS doing escapes or thinking about doing escapes. Things go wrong! they will happen! make sure you have all of your safeties in place before attempting any escape. Don't learn the hard way like I did... it CAN happen no matter how routine the escape seems, no matter how many times you have done it. I learned a few things from this....never panic in ANY situation and to put safeties into place before any of my escapes.... live and learn, but mostly LIVE!