Deep Survival By Laurence Gonzales #3 Emotional Connections


Text by Contributing Editor Laurence Gonzales, author of the book Deep Survival

I once worked on an assignment for this magazine with a photographer named Mark Gamba. Mark was an avid steep creek boater. He and I were knocking around on an Army base in Oregon, watching helicopters take off and land, when he told me a story about getting caught in a strainer. A strainer is a tree that’s fallen across a river, creating a network of branches that can trap paddlers. Once someone is sucked into the branches, it’s a pretty dodgy business to get out. Mark was pinned, and each time he managed to pull himself up, he caught a breath and was sucked under again. The endgame was obvious: The exertion would eventually exhaust him. Then he’d drown.
I asked what he did next.

“I thought of my son,” he said. “I wanted to see him again.” And with one last surge of adrenaline, he vaulted up and over the log.

Continue reading this story >>


Illustration by Dan Page

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