When I came to I was lying in the bottom of a boat. Underneath me I felt the water slapping on the bottom of the boat. Evidently it was moving fast through the water. My head swam for a moment, but then cleared. I raised myself on my elbows, coughing violently, and saw a man at the tiller. When he saw me move he stopped the engine and knelt next to me.
“Thank God you’re awake!” he exclaimed. “Take it easy, now. There. You okay?”
“O-okay, I guess,” I stuttered. My lips felt thick. “Wh-what happened?”
“I found you floating on the surface, unconscious. I pulled you onto my boat and when I couldn’t revive you I knew I had to get you to shore in a hurry.”
“I-I blacked out. I didn’t have enough air. Do you have my bag?”
“Yes it’s right here. You’re oxygen mouthpiece was still keeping it up.”
“Who are you?”
“My name’s Ben Davison. I’m a diver. Who are you?”
“Kate…Cornea. I’m a…”
“Don’t try to talk anymore. You just lie quiet. I’ve gotta get you to shore.”
When we beached he half dragged me as I stumbled up the pebbly sand. When I was out of reach of the waves he lay me down and left to get help. He returned soon after with a stretcher and three men. They put me on the stretcher despite my protests and carried me to the nearest hospital. I emerged an hour later, cleared with a caution to remain quiet for at least a week.
Ben Davison walked out with me. I invited him to dinner at a restaurant. He accepted. Over dinner I managed to convey that I was really, really grateful and that he was welcome anytime at my house. We parted on friendly terms with promises of meetings in the future.