Tamarin Bay, Mauritius

This guy Ian McCormack was night diving off the coast of Mauritius when he was stung multiple times by box jellyfish. He was declared clinically dead in hospital.  He is now alive and based in London.

He goes on speaking tours and came to Cheltenham fairly recently. I missed him so had to make do with reading his book.

Kiwi Ian McCormack was 24 in 1980, with a degree in agriculture from Lincoln, when he left New Zealand for some ‘overseas experience’.

He surfed his way up the East Coast of Australia to Surfer’s Paradise, spending his days catching waves at Dee Why, Fosters, Lennox Heads, Byron Bay and Burleigh Heads.

Ian hitchhiked to Darwin and from there to Bali, Indonesia where he surfed Kuta Reef and Uluwatu. He travelled through Java, Singapore, Tiomen Island, Malaysia and Aragum Bay in Sri Lanka.

box jellyfish

From there he got into the crew of a 27-metre schooner and sailed to Africa where he lived in Tamarin Bay in Mauritius. He had been travelling for two years.

Half a mile out to sea with Creole friends while night diving during an electrical storm, Ian came across something he had never seen before: a box jellyfish.

Curious, he swam closer and reached out to touch it. As it brushed past, it stung him.

One sting can kill a human within five minutes. Ian was stung five times by box jellyfish in the water.

In agonising pain from his lungs, limbs, kidneys, and with his vision blurring, Ian tried to get himself to shore and to hospital. The boy with him in the boat went back to help his friends.

Ian died that night, either from cardiac arrest or respiratory failure. He had a vision of hell. A bright light drew him out and showed him heaven. It was God. It was Jesus. They talked. Ian returned to his dead body. The doctors were quite surprised.

The story is told in A Glimpse of Eternity. Ian McCormack now travels the world speaking about his experience.

For more, see:

Box jellyfish

manna christian centre


Dr Richard Kent

Ian McCormack’s story