How did Douglas develop an aversion to water?

Douglas was merely three or four years old when he had his first water related accident. His father had taken him to the beach in California where they stood together in the surf. The waves knocked young Douglas down and swept over him in such a way that he was buried in the water and felt suffocated. That was the first time he felt the pangs of terror at the overpowering force of the water set in his heart. When he was ten or eleven years old he decided to learn to swim at the Y.M.C.A. pool. It was only two or three feet deep at the shallow end and nine feet at the deep end where the drop was gradual. Yet, when the eighteen year old boy tossed Douglas into the deep end of the pool, it strengthened his aversion to water. An unsuspecting victim, Douglas landed in a sitting position, swallowed water and went at once to the bottom. Even after multiple attempts, he was unable to resurface, because of too much depth. Gradually, he grew tired and suffocated; he was paralysed with fear and almost drowned. Douglas would not have survived if someone had not dove into the water to save him.

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