Experts say ‘gut instinct’ that led to discovery of trapped Port Alice man was a lifesaver

WatchTwice this week, life saving Islanders credited a gut feeling for their fateful decision, so we asked experts, what this hair raising instinct is.

Port McNeill’s fire chief saved a life when he listened to his gut instinct, leading him to a Port Alice man trapped beneath his ATV.

“Tried to ignore it,” said Fire Chief Dean Tait of Port McNeill Fire Rescue.

“But it just kept getting stronger and stronger and stronger and I just got in the truck and I started driving.”

It led Tait to find 41-year-old Port Alice man Andrew Horsley in critical condition in a ditch where he had spent days trapped beneath his ATV.   That man is now in intensive care.

“I’ve passed that road probably a thousand times,” said Tait.

“And I’ve never gone down it and for some reason, I just followed what my gut was telling me.”

Nanaimo mother Brettnee Elder credited, “a bad feeling she couldn’t let go of,” for successfully saving her four daughters from a Nanaimo house fire on Oct. 30. 

“It happened so fast,” said Brettnee.

“Something pulled me back in that room.”

“It could have gone totally different because she could have had a nap with the kids,” said her husband Ernie Elder. “Because she just put them down for a nap.”

“Yeah whatever told me to go back in that room right,” said Brettnee.

Nanaimo RCMP’s Const. Gary O’Brien said intuition is a lifesaver, especially for first responders, who have learned to trust that feeling they get in an instant.

“And after you’ve gone through it, there’s often there’s a sight, a sound,” said O’Brien.

“Something that’s out of whack that caused your consciousness to kick in.”

“I would say that it’s our internal knowingness,” said Nanaimo clinical counsellor Christine Hall.

“It’s a wisdom that we hold, that we talk ourselves out of.”

Hall said intuition is widely supported in research and is very real: a sum of all of our life experiences coming into a moment.

“Oftentimes we have this, like ‘this isn’t a good idea’,” said Hall.

Women are more likely to pay attention to that hair raising, can’t shake it feeling than men.

“Males are four times more likely to be assaulted than women,” said O’Brien.

“Because women listen to their intuitive sense, they listen to the spidey sense,” he said.

“Men say ‘Oh I probably know the person,’ so they put themselves in a situation before it’s too late to remove themselves safely.”

So experts say listen when your gut is talking to you, it just might save a life.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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