I don't have phobia of water and I like the sea, i like to swim, but when I take a shower or water is on my face, I have that feeling I can't take a breath, I'm choking, its weird.
....But still I'm not convinced there are passed life's.
I have the same thing... I think there is a bundle of nerves in the nose that when they get even a small amount of water on them trigger a strong response. If I get even mist in my nose when I'm in the shower, I feel like I can't breath or I'm drowning. It seems like a direct trigger of fight/flight response, and it's probably why waterboarding overrides the logical knowledge that you aren't actually drowning.