Woman Jumps Into Lake In Just Her Underwear To Save Man She Thought Was Drowning, Only To Realize He’s A Scuba Diver

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Sometimes we do really embarrassing things, even when we have the best intentions.

But a woman jumping into a lake in her underwear to save a scuba diver? That has to score pretty high on the Embarrassing Stories list.

Redditor “CheerfulChaosPancake” shared her story on the “Dear Reddit, Today I F**ked Up” (TIFU) subReddit, recounting her experience of trying to “save” a military-grade combat scuba diver-in-training.

The Redditor shared how this memorable event originated from something she does essentially every day. 

“I’m couch-surfing with my sister and her BF; I work for him at the lake-side bar, trying to pay for college. My state is ‘open’ and while I’m not thrilled, I need both the job and my scored sofa accommodations to make it work.”

“To give them their space, and myself a break from the doomscrolling, I take a run by the lake in the mornings. This lake is bombass and draws scuba divers to the flooded town at the bottom.”

But while she was out running, she thought she saw an emergency unfolding. 

“Today, I was in my own head running when a dark mass floated to the surface 40 feet away. I was on the craggy side of the lake and this dude looked dead. D.E.A.D.”

“Facing away from me, his head was tipped back, eyes closed, bobbing like a fishing lure. No one else was around, so I thought he was quantum crazy out here scuba diving alone at the crackass of dawn, giving himself the bends or some nonsense.”

She did what she thought anyone would do—tried to save him.

“Like a jacka**, I didn’t yell at him to check-in. Instead, I toed off my shoes and stripped to my skivvies to save the imbecile.”

“The movie trailer in my head had me taking three glorious steps and launching into the deep blue water, black widow style. Instead, my tender feet hit the sharp rocks and I contorted under the pain like a slinky as I uncoordinatedly pitched myself into the water, doing a side-flop.”

“I was also wearing my contacts so I swam hard in his direction with my eyes closed.”

But it turned out he didn’t need saving. 

“When I open them, he was dead-ass staring at me like I’d lost my ever-lovin’ mind, so I blurted, ‘Are you okay?'”

“He removed the regulator and incredulously said ‘yes’.”

Trying to leave as gracefully as she could, she found herself more embarrassed. 

“My brain blue-screened while I tread water. The lake felt infinitely deep.”

“Before I could terrify myself by hearing the jaws theme song, I turned to nope the hell out of there, yelling over my shoulder, ‘I thought you needed saving’ to explain my idiocy.”

“As I pivoted, another dude cleared his throat from 30 feet away on the other side. I never heard a sound from him so I freaked out, flailing and belting an ear wounding scream at him.”

“Both a**hats laughed as a few more heads surfaced around us. I was surrounded by divers all wildly entertained by my ridiculous high-octane FU.”

“After pointing to me and the beach, the merman that was my original target cautiously swam toward me after I nodded and ‘escorted’ me to the shore.”

On the way to shore, though, she and the diver connected. 

“The beach was much further than I had anticipated, so I was trying to low-key breath, hiding my need to suck all of the O2 from the air. Also, the comedy of the situation consumed me and I started to giggle.”

“Finally, I joked, ‘Dude, you are lucky you weren’t actually dying because It would have taken everything I have to drag your sorry ass this far’.”

“He chuckled before offering me a ‘tow’.”

“‘Hell, no! Not gonna happen.’ Even if I had to dog paddle, I wouldn’t openly accept that defeat.”

“He quietly mocked me the rest of the way to the shore. I’m a secret sap for it.”

As it turned out, the divers were in training and definitely didn’t need saving. 

“They were cadets or recent graduates from a military college, here for the summer. They’ve been training in pools and were doing some ‘open water’ exercises; they had been out there at least part of the night.”

“I’m sure I blew-up whatever drill they were running. He’s training for pre-dive school (?) and since I am an expert googler, I’m guessing that means combat diving.”

She did her best to exit the situation as gracefully as possible.

“At the shore, I did my best to throw my shoulders back and march out of the water in my sports bra and undies in front of what I can only imagine are some pretty bada** men.”

“I did invite him and his clandestine crew for an absurdly overpriced beer at the bar tonight before shame-jogging back into the woods for my clothes.”

Her fellow Redditors loved the story and found it endearing. 

“The romantic in me just absolutely loves this.”FlyDeeMouse

“I found this story incredibly endearing. I would gladly pretend to drown so you can save me!”

“On a side note, one time on a lake in Connecticut my older brother got leg cramps while he was in the water. My dumb ass decides to jump out of the boat and save him without even the slightest of hesitation or thought.”

“He had a life vest on and was completely safe, I did not.”bignick1190

“Hey, most people would have just stood around and yelled for help.”

“You actually tried to help. There’s no shame in your mistake. At least he knows if he’d had been done for that day maybe you could’ve saved him.”

“If anything, he owes you the beer.”TheMonsterWithinYou

Some definitely see the Redditor having a life together with this guy. 

“I see a ring coming up before the next deployment, just sayin.”adorable_elephant

“I’m seeing them married by the lake in a couple years after he proposes on a diving trip.”

“Then having walks with their dogs. Then picnics with their children and then walks with the grandchildren.”Cucurucho78

A few put themselves in the guy’s shoes and figured he had as good of a time as she did.

“Thank you for this awesome story! Is it cringy? -for you, absolutely.”

“But to me I think you’re awesome for immediately going full Baywatch mode to save a stranger.”

“Also, as a guy, a random girl in her underwear coming to save me from a watery grave would absolutely make my week! Seriously, what guy would be disappointed by that?!”

“I really hope they come get drinks and you live happily ever after! Be sure to update!”04chri2t0ph3r

“‘TIFU by accidentally appearing to be dead in a lake at the crack of dawn”

A few Redditors imagined what this would look like from the other side.

“Title, causing a jogger to strip (almost) naked and dive into a cold-ass lake to come ‘save’ me, not realizing that there were ten other guys with me under the water, and we were all equipped with scuba gear.”

“I’m a member of the military. We were doing dive training for combat operations. And a civvy thought she needed to save me in dick-shaped neon firefly panties. FML.”

“On the upside, she was cute and the guys and I are going for drinks at her bar tonight!”Estellus

“‘a random girl in her underwear coming to save me from a watery grave would absolutely make my week'”

“That would make my entire f**king lifetime.”

“And she digs my dry humour? I’d do whatever it took to go to the bar she invited me to. I’d go AWOL.”whompmywillow

A few others also really wanted updates on the Redditor’s evening. 

“Do edit the post or make a new one in case you get hazed. This post is memorable for being so utterly chaotic with a touch of embarrassment (well the bottle of embarrassment has spilt but we’re turning a blind eye to that ) and you seem to be such a wholesome and humourous individual and we’re hooked to this now. (Lake, fish hooked haha dad joke time)”

“You’re a wonderful story teller OP, you should probably cash in on that somewhere. And also.. I absolutely love your username.”

“Hope you have a great evening!”TheRightHandofSatan

“Excellent story. You probably made their morning after a long and boring training session.”

“A+ job inviting them to the bar. Please update us after they show up!”anewcliche

Amused by the comments, the Redditor continued to update her post throughout the day, ending with the fateful moment: her own personal Top Gun bar scene. 

“EDIT: It’s Lake Jocassee in SC. Also, the mereman cheated: he was wearing a floaty vest and fins, that bastard.”

“Ok, I’ll admit there is a part of me that is attracted to his mysterious appearance from the shadow realm, and I’m definitely imagining that he’s constructed from some kind of aluminum steel alloy, but he was also funny and kind.”

“I was vibing his proclivity for witty and sarcastic comments and have a million questions I want to ask him. Ha”

Mermen or no mermen, her experience made for a great evening at work. 

“EDIT2: Okay, at work now and had to turn off the notifications because you snippers are blowing me up. To all the ladies giving advice earlier…yes, I left the dragon-flies at home and went full cute sundress and Jesus sandals.”

“Tried to wear my hair straight, but it’s hot as hate out here and it’ll be beach wave sweaty before long. My sister’s BF has blabbed the whole thing and all of the staff is in full-on ribbing mode. Kinda great actually.”

“They are currently reading the Reddit post so they are cackling at you people too. So, even if he doesn’t show, we’re gonna have a great night.”

“We have a long way to go since it’s just the dinner crowd, but thanks for making my day great people.”

“EDIT3: Solid dinner crowd, but no mereman, or frog prince as you people have started to call him. Our lakeside drinking crew will start rolling in another 1-2 hours.”

“I thought you salty bast**ds of TIFU would chew me up and spit me out, but look at you all showing up in the name of love! You guys are awesome, even if I get ditched it was worth the day with you.”

Getting later into the evening, she started losing faith. 

“EDIT4: 1 hour later. Still no show.”


“EDIT5: HE SHOWED! Holy s**t, a little bit ago.” 

“Yes, I was as dorky as you would have imagined and now I’m typing this from the bathroom like a dumba** again, but I feel like you people are on the ride with me.”

“He’s handsome and funny and he smells great. Yes, I hugged him.

“I’m southern…its what we do…not the smelling, the hugging.”

“He’s nice, and smart and keeps defending me from my jacka** friends at the bar, who have almost called him merman to his face. I think he low-key likes that everyone knew who he was, but not sure how he’ll feel about being a Reddit celebrity.”

“I’ve learned a lot about him, but it wouldn’t be fair to share without his permission. His whole crew did not come, only one and his bud immediately started flirting with my co-worker.”

“That’s a good sign. I think. Holy, s**t you’d think I’d never met up with a guy before.”

“Also, my friend straight up asked him if he saw my ‘dragonfly undies that look like penises with MASSIVE, glow-in-the-dark turquoise blue balls’ only she used the Reddit version (thanks for that nickname Reddit).”

“He didn’t answer but smirked the truth to me after she left. It was cheeky but cute.”

“He’s also been sharing some of the s**t that he’s been taking today from being ‘saved’. He has the same self-deprecating sense of humor as me.”

“I think we are vibing. So, that’s all the updates for tonight.”

“He’s getting the rest of my attention. Keep sending me those good vibes and peace people.”

The Redditor gave one final update after her more-than-memorable evening. 

“EDIT6: Last and final update because you guys are not letting up.”

“I know this may seem weird since I posted this whole situation out into cyberspace for everyone to see, but yesterday it was just a comical story about a guy I didn’t think I would ever see again. Something funny to share when we all need a giggle.”

“Today…well…it feels different to talk about him now that we’ve spent some time together. I like him. There’s chemistry and similar interest and we have plans to see each other again.”

“I don’t need the pressure of Reddit to help me screw things up. You guys know I’m a bit of an expert in that regard.”

“That’s all, so go do something you love and find a way to at least balance the doomscrolling with some belly laughs. Sending much love to each of you.”

Even if it wasn’t so Top Gun as to include a serenade, it was still located at a bar with multiple military guys.

Whether or not there are wedding bells for these two in the future, they both came away with a fun, memorable experience and hopefully will at least stay in-touch.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit