“It had been a foggy afternoon. I was off the Atlantic Coast in my fishing boat. I always went out alone, and had been busy working my nets. “As evening came on, I noticed that another fishing boat was anchored nearby. I saw that he was also working alone. Although I did not know who he was, I waved and noted that he did not respond. He looked drunk. I went below deck, exhausted from the day’s work and fell asleep in my clothes. “I was too tired to take them off. “It must have been 11 or 12 o’clock when I heard the yelling. Up on deck, I ran to the railing—and saw him in the water. Too drunk to know better, he had fallen overboard. “The cold water had started him shouting. “Quickly I stripped down and dove overboard. It was obvious he would be gone in another minute. How I ever got him on board his fishing boat, I’ll never know. I carried him below deck, got dry clothes on him, and put him into his bunk. I made him some food, and stayed until he was warm and sleeping soundly. 5 “Utterly wearied from it all, I did not want to disturb him; so, instead of starting the engine, I dove back into the cold Atlantic and swam to my own boat. I almost didn’t make it. Exhausted, I fell into my bunk, but with the happy knowledge that I had saved his life.
Twice I had come close to drowning that night,—but a man had been saved from drowning. “A man I didn’t know. “Next morning broke clear and sunny. I awoke about eight, and went up on deck. “My new friend was leaning on the rail. “ ‘Hi,’ I called out cheerily. ‘How are you doing this morning?’ With a growl, he told me to shut my mouth. “ ‘But I’m your best friend!’ I cried. ‘I saved your life last night!’ At this, he called me a liar and threw every curse word at me that he knew.