Waves pound – more water gets inside me… god I don’t want to die like this. Coughing, swallowing, choking all at once – my whole body aches. I can’t find which way is up. I taste blood. Another wave and I’m hit hard. A snatch of air but my mouth is still full of water. More choking. This is it. Another wave. And another. Suddenly it’s ground above and air below. I roll over and fight to get to the surface. More wet air. Wave after wave and… the waves subside. Another gasp and I try to pull myself through the water. It seems to be shallower here. My feet scrape sand and I breathe again. My hand hits sand too. Trying to stand up I start to cry again, struggling for breath and dragging myself to my feet. Minutes pass as I clear my lungs and head and look around. How long have I been in the water? My moonlit swim off the back of the boat is a dim memory. The water is now just below knee depth – but the closest land is still maybe a mile across a lagoon. Damn them all! As waves break around me I start to walk.

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