I was only around 5 or 6 years old when this happened yet the memory of the experience is as vivid today as was the experience back then.
My parents had taken me and my younger sister to an open air swimming pool during that cold British summer. I could not swim, and was generally wandering around the pool as kids do, but somehow I found myself in the deep end of the swimming pool. Whether I jumped in or fell in I will never know, but I do remember lying at the bottom of the pool on my back - I was breathing water, and the water in my lungs kept me down there. I did not struggle because the experience was amazingly pleasant - breathing water did not hurt, neither did it feel uncomfortable. I just relaxed and lay there looking up. I was mesmerized by the surface of the water some 6 feet above me, the sun was shining and gentle rays of sunlight danced through the dappled water - I remember the colors - orange, rose, and turquoise. It was so relaxing there - really peaceful. Who I was, where I was, why, etc. never crossed my mind - there was no sense of time, there was no sense of warm or cold. All this came to a brutal end when I felt I was being dragged forcefully through the water. Next thing I remember was people slapping me and shouting at me - "breath, breath", they were shouting - it was like a rude and painful awakening - breathing hurt, I was coughing, my throat and lungs hurt, I felt really cold, icy cold, and dizzy, confused. I didn't understand why these people were shouting at me and hitting me, but as my consciousness slowly returned I realized the people hitting me were my parents. I was vomiting water, it was painful and horrible, and it is there where my memory ends. I simply do not remember any more of that day, neither do I remember the rest of that year.
Of all of my childhood memories, this is one of the strongest and clearest. Some 4 years later I was to find myself in deep water once again - caught by a rip tide and washed out towards the open ocean, exhausted from swimming against the current I realized I could just give up, and breath in the water as in my previous experience, I was ready to let it happen, but this time it never did, a parent had swam out and rescued me and dragged me back to shore. In later years I was to become a regional county swimming champion, and set a record for swimming under water the furthest and fastest distance.
I love the water, I have made sure throughout my life that I have always lived close to water. Now I live in a beach resort and despite all my "incidents" with water I will always regard it as a "best friend".
The point of the above is this, did it make me religious? Hell no, if anything it taught me the opposite, but not while I was laying on the bottom of the pool, I was too young to have any concept of religion, but later in life I realized that life can be fragile - in a moment it can be gone. Accidents are accidents, they happen to millions of people everyday - this is not the "wish" of some bearded deity sitting around in the sky with nothing better to do than to dish out accidents on unsuspecting mortals - it is just part of that great force of nature, natural events - 2+2=4, but sometimes 2+2=5.