5 Celebrities Who’ve Had Terrifying Drowning Experiences

Having a close call in the water, these 5 celebrities have spoken on their terrifying experiences when they almost drowned. Some were young when the incident happened but they’ve thankfully moved past the bad memory and still love the water. Others have the brush with death more recently and are glad they made it through alive.

Liam Hemsworth


Liam loves surfing but almost drowned once: “I surfed competitively from age 13 to 18. Every day, before and after school. I wanted to surf for the rest of my life. It’s what all my friends did. I even had it as a subject in school for a number of years. They teach you all parts of the surfing industry: How to judge surf heats, that sort of thing. The fear of dying? That’s part of the fun of it. The adrenaline you get from surfing big waves. I’ve seen a shark before. You get the worst wipeouts when you’re not expecting it. When I was a kid, one time I got my leg rope wrapped around my whole body like a ball, under water. Couldn’t get up. I was in waist-deep water, but I almost drowned. You know, I’ve had a few times.”


Will.i.am went swimming at a young age and went under: ”I was like, ‘Ma, can I go swimming?’ She was like ‘no, boy, you ain’t going in no swimming pool’. So my mom said no but I did the opposite. I’ve never been in a swimming pool and so I don’t know the difference between 3ft and 9ft – I’m thinking that everything is at the height that I’m at. So I’m walking and I start sinking and then I drown. I’m under water for about three or four minutes.”

Reese Witherspoon

Reese almost drowned as a kid at camp: “It was at camp and I went under the water. I was in a swimming pool and I couldn’t swim in the deep end, and I swam down to the deep end and I almost drowned. I remember going under thinking, ‘No one’s going to come get me, are they?’ I just simply remember swallowing a lot of water and going down. I was at the bottom of the pool. Someone got me, but it was literally the last second they could have gotten me. I swallowed a lot of water; I threw up, the whole thing. It was really scary.”

Max George

‘The Wanted’ singer Max George got drunk and fell asleep in a hot tub when he slipped under the water: “I went under water in the middle of the night in the hot tub and didn’t know. I owe a massive thank you to our night cameraman – he actually saved my life. Nathan did a bit as well. He just wasn’t strong enough to pick me up. But he did help drag my naked, wrinkled body out. It wasn’t that we weren’t aware we were being filmed, we were so intoxicated we didn’t care.”

Mariah Carey

Mariah had a terrifying experience as a 6-year-old but still loves the water: “Swimming is my favourite form of exercise, which is surprising since I almost drowned in the ocean when I was six. It was scary but it didn’t traumatise me or deter me from going in again. My mother just put me back in the water and told me it would be fine. And it was.”