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  1. The lucky escape/near miss experience of this Russian prompts me to ask anyone has had their own 'near miss' (whether actual or perceived) they would care to share?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-europe-55022996

    One of my own near miss isn't really much of a lucky escape. Rather it was more of a coincidence that COULD have been more serious had the timings been different.

    Between 1986 and 1990 I worked in Manchester but would always travel up by car to my parents' house to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. This particular year I had travelled back up to Falkirk relatively early and so drove up the M6 motorway and the (at that time before upgrading to a motorway) A74 dual carriageway (not sure what you would call this type of road outside the UK). The date was 21st December 1988 and it must have been sometime in the late afternoon.

    Thinking back on it, I must have passed Lockerbie at sometime around 3 or 4 PM in the afternoon. And it was 3-4 hours later that Pan Am flight 103 was blown up by a bomb and the wreckage fell on the small town and the surrounding countryside (including skirting the A74 road).

    As I say, maybe not a near miss or lucky escape but I do think that I could have drove back up to Scotland a little later but I wanted to get back relatively early so that I minimised my time driving in the dark.
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorLSH
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2021
    I have one (also aviation related) that shook me up so much, I didn't speak to anyone about it for a good few years.

    Back in Summer 2014, my girlfriend (of the time) and I were doing a bit of travelling through Europe and finished up in Amsterdam. We decided to take another couple weeks out and head out to Thailand to meet some family that were there at the time. I always remember the Monday night... we were out in a bar and looking on our phones for flights to take us over there the following Thursday. There was a Singapore Airlines flight connecting in Singapore, a Cathay Pacific flight connecting in Hong Kong.... and a Malaysian Airlines flight connecting through Kuala Lumpur. A bit drunk, and ultimately undecided, we decided to sleep on it and book the next day with a clear head.

    We ended up going for Singapore. The Cathay Pacific flight had gone up massively in price and the Malaysian Airlines flight was fully booked.

    It was only when we arrived in Bangkok we learned that Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 had been shot down over Ukraine.
  2. Thanks for sharing your story Lee. I sometimes think of "what if" consequences of our actions (or lack of action) and how our lives would have changed. Whether it be like travel plan decisions of whether or not to take or pass on a particular job (two separate decisions that Anne and I made that meant we were subsequently in the same place of work.
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2021
    Creepy stuff. Very FINAL DESTINATION.

    I can't remember if I've been particularly close this way. Back in 2005, I was in the old town in Sharm-el-Sheik in Egypt, and just a few days later there was a terrorist attack there that killed many tourists.
    I am extremely serious.
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      CommentAuthorLSH
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2021 edited
    I'm sorry for not commenting on your story Alan.

    Every plane crash (whether intentionally caused or not) is a fucking grim and horrible turn of events but those of Lockerbie '88 I've always found particularly disturbing and, while I wasn't even born until after, everything I've learned about it (a little too in depth, I find now) has stayed with me.
  3. LSH wrote
    I'm sorry for not commenting on your story Alan.

    No problem. I wasn't sure if anyone would post anything on this topic. Sometimes there's just nothing to say.
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorFalkirkBairn
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2021 edited
    My second 'lucky escape' happened about 5 years after my first.

    After Anne and I met in Manchester we had bought a house in Warrington, UK. At the time it was billed as the UK's most central location and for us it was true. Anne was still working in Manchester and I had moved jobs to North Wales and Warrington was a town that was about halfway between the two locations.

    Our house was only a small first-time buyer's house on the outskirts of the town and we would take a bus trip into the town centre on a Saturday to do a bit of shopping and maybe have lunch. On this particular Saturday - 20th March 1993 - we had gone into town as usual but hadn't stayed there too long and had got a bus back home about midday after wandering around town for a bit.

    It wasn't until we had got home that we learned that the IRA - a terrorist group who had been carrying out attacks in Northern Ireland and the UK to try and force the UK to withdraw from Northern Ireland - had set off two bombs in Warrington town centre at 12.25pm. Both bombs had been placed in metal rubbish bins on one of the main shopping streets of the town - a street we had just been on. There had been a number of people injured including two fatalities.
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorLSH
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2021
    Not me... but my father.

    He was on a pub crawl in Birmingham city centre on the evening of November 21st 1974. He drank a pint with friends in ‘The Mulberry Bush’ bar around an hour before it was bombed by the IRA (and the second bomb that destroyed ‘The Tavern In The Town’ pub minutes later) killing 21 people.

    He knew a few of the victims’ families quite well too.
  4. It was a terrible time from the seventies. It is hard to believe now that bombings such as these were a regular feature on the news.

    And now Boris Johnson's insistence on a 'hard Brexit' is destabilising all the progress of the Good Friday Agreement.
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2021 edited
    Well, speaking of terrorist attacks, I do remember July 22nd, 2011 very well. It was a sparkling summer day, I was sitting right where I am now - in front of my computer with the balcony door open. Then suddenly I heard what sounded like a cross between thunder and a detonation. Obviously, the weather was too nice for thunder, so I assumed it was a controlled detonation intended for road work or similar. But when I turned on the TV a bit later, I discovered it was the first part of the fateful terrorist attack that day. Breivik, who would later go on to kill all those young people at the island outside of Oslo, had detonated a bomb in the government quarters.

    Now, I wasn't in the city centre that day (I live about a 10-minute bicycle ride away), so not sure how much of a "close call" it was, but I often take the short cut through the government quarters when I have business downtown. So it obviously shocked me, and the whole nation. Our worst attack since WW2.
    I am extremely serious.
  5. Thor wrote
    ...it was the first part of the fateful terrorist attack that day. Breivik, who would later go on to kill all those young people at the island outside of Oslo, had detonated a bomb in the government quarters.

    Now, I wasn't in the city centre that day (I live about a 10-minute bicycle ride away), so not sure how much of a "close call" it was, but I often take the short cut through the government quarters when I have business downtown. So it obviously shocked me, and the whole nation. Our worst attack since WW2.

    I remember that being on the news here in the UK.

    I think that it's a "close call" - you could have been there in your everyday life.
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
  6. This is all so creepy to read.
    Goes to show that life's in the details, and some have that luck, others don't.

    Enjoy life's the fullest everyone. It's weird saying that now, considering few can actually do anything. But we will get there eventually. And then you just got to seize the moment, and enjoy whatever comes your way.

    First on my list: Getting Thor to Belgium so he can enjoy the beers here once again wink
    Of course everyone else's invited too smile
    waaaaaahhhhhhhh!!! Where's my nut? arrrghhhhhhh
  7. Thomas Glorieux wrote
    This is all so creepy to read.

    Is it a bit too distasteful?
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
  8. My luckiest escape would definitely be the car accident I was involved in (and which I touched on in a recent Zoom meeting).

    Following on from my previous story, Anne and I (pre-children) had moved to Warrington so that we were living roughly midway between where we both worked. This meant that I had a 40-mile drive to work (80 miles per day). It was a relatively easy commute and the most difficult part was getting through the town to the main dual carriageway route to the motorway and on to North Wales. I had been doing the same route for about 5-6 years before things went pear-shaped!

    19th December 1996. This might have been the final day of work before we broke up for the Christmas holidays. But whatever the day was, we had gone to the local pub near work for our departmental Christmas lunch. And then spent a few hours sat in the pub playing pub games and chatting. It was a nice way to finish the year - even though I wasn't able to have any alcohol (I have a solid rule of no alcohol if I am driving.) By the time I had left the pub and arrived at the junction off the motorway and onto the dual carriageway leading into Warrington it was dark.

    After a few miles of dual carriageway the road narrows down to just one lane each way just before there's a road off to the right that I usually turned on to. To get ready to turn right at that point I moved from the left- the the right-hand lane to turn right and as I went round a sweeping bend I suddenly say a stationary car in my lane ahead of me. It was facing me and it had no lights on. I really had no time to react other than to break (I remember not wanting to swerve to the left because the road was busy and I didn't really know what was in the other lane - me swerving could have taken me into the path of cars to my left.) So I breaked and just hoped for the best.

    There was no way that I was going to avoid hitting the other car. The accident investigators said afterwards that my skid marks were about 17 yards (15.5 metres) long and that when the two cars came together the combined speed was about 50 mph (80 kph). I don't remember much about the actual impact but I do remember just sitting in the car afterwards and trying to find my glasses that had come flying off. I couldn't reach down to the floor because of the seatbelt holding me back so I released it and fumbled for my glasses. Luckily I found them and I could see what was happening around me.

    A few people started to appear round my car and after a short time some ambulances and fire engines arrived. As I was still in the car (I never really thought of getting out - maybe I was in shock) the emergency services told me to stay in the car and that they would extract me on a body board (since it was a high-speed impact) and so there were lots of people around me trying to move me out onto the board. One thing I do remember is that someone got a good bollocking because it was their job to isolate the car's battery. And when one of the guys helping me brushed the steering wheel and set off the car's horn the guy was told in stern tones to isolate the battery!

    I was whisked off to hospital and straight into A&E for a good looking over. I was lucky to have only sustained a broken sternum (breast bone) from the seatbelt restraining me. I also ended up with a bump the size of an egg on my forehead from hitting my head on the steering wheel and I had a bruised knee from it hitting the steering column. The latter injury still bothers me to this day whenever I have to sit in an awkward position.

    Obviously I was heading home at the time of the accident and so, from Anne's point of view, I was increasingly late getting home. To get an idea of what might be responsible for me being late she checked Ceefax, text-based information service that you could view on the TV (we didn't have smartphones). She saw that there had been an accident on the road I would have been on and she assumed that I was stuck behind that. Then, however, she experienced what must be some peoples' nightmare: the unexpected knock on the door at an odd hour and to find a couple of police officers on the doorstep. Apparently they were very quick to tell her that I wasn't in too bad a condition and she was soon taken to the hospital to see me.

    I spent about 3 days in hospital under observation and soon after that I went to a local garage to pick up the belongings that had been left in the car. The car itself was a write-off. The chassis frame on the roof had buckled on the driver's side behind the driver's door. And when I looked into the car itself the gear stick was sitting about 6 inches above where it should have been. I really liked that Ford Escort.

    So, that was my most extreme 'lucky escape'. Since it was a car accident there's not a day goes by when my mind doesn't go back to that experience and to think what could have been. When it happened Anne was 3 months pregnant carrying Rachel and things could have been so different for them.

    I am quick to tell people how they need to wear a seatbelt when driving. I remember one person at my old work who said that they didn't need to wear a seatbelt because they were a careful driver. I consider myself a careful driver but you can't anticipate the quality of the other drivers or the circumstances you may find yourself in.

    And how did the other car end up where it was, on the wrong side of the road, facing the wrong way? No one is really sure. Unfortunately, the elderly lady didn't survive the accident. But at the coroner's inquest I found out that, during the scene investigation the police investigators found a whole load of grass and mud underneath the car. When they walked back away from the car they saw that the lady had started off on the right side of the dual carriageway but that, for some reason, she mounted the kerb, crossed the central reservation (hence the grass and mud and there was no central barrier) and then continued on on the side I was on. She may have realised her error which was why she may have stopped the car, turned off the ignition. And taken off her seatbelt.

    BTW, if anyone would prefer that I hadn't posted this here just let me know and I will remove it.
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
  9. FalkirkBairn wrote
    Thomas Glorieux wrote
    This is all so creepy to read.

    Is it a bit too distasteful?


    No, I can cope with a lot of things, but it's creepy because life's in the details. It goes to show that luck or bad luck is often just a second away.
    waaaaaahhhhhhhh!!! Where's my nut? arrrghhhhhhh
    •  
      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTime4 days ago
    Just read your story now, Alan (due to the spambot above ressurecting it). A bit late, sorry. Wow, that's pretty intense right there. You were extremely lucky, it seems, with those relatively minor injuries. But there's a whole mental aspect here too, given that the lady in the other car died. Hopefully, you got some counseling on that at the time.
    I am extremely serious.
  10. Thor wrote
    Just read your story now, Alan (due to the spambot above ressurecting it). A bit late, sorry. Wow, that's pretty intense right there. You were extremely lucky, it seems, with those relatively minor injuries. But there's a whole mental aspect here too, given that the lady in the other car died. Hopefully, you got some counseling on that at the time.

    Nope. No counselling offered as far as I remember.

    To this day I don't really feel comfortable when I am a passenger in a car someone else is driving. It is a lack of control thing I think - I am concerned whether the other driver would be able to deal with a situation that arises any better than I would. Which is a funny thought to have since I wasn't able to avoid the collision back then.
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
  11. Thor wrote
    Just read your story now, Alan (due to the spambot above ressurecting it). A bit late, sorry. Wow, that's pretty intense right there. You were extremely lucky, it seems, with those relatively minor injuries. But there's a whole mental aspect here too, given that the lady in the other car died. Hopefully, you got some counseling on that at the time.

    Another part of the mental aspect was waiting to see if there was any responsibility on my part despite me being on the right side of the road! The follow-up police investigations included looking at my car to see if there was anything wrong with it that contributed to the outcome. Luckily there was no contribution on my part to the outcome of the accident. It was a great relief when I heard that. And the judgement of the coroner's inquest was the same too!
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTime3 days ago edited
    That's good to hear! That there are no longterm, PTSD consequences, I mean (other than wanting to be in control of the car you're in).
    I am extremely serious.