The evening sun was still high in the sky, but the beach was deserted. No wonder only seagulls were gliding above the calm surface of the sea, calling incredibly loud in the emptiness of the horizon. Most people preferred to go to the beaches, located in town or somewhere right next to it. Rarely, somebody came over here, as the beach had repelling reputation due to the mysterious events that had taken place here in the recent years. Many young people were claimed to miss after they went to this beach.
My watch was showing 6 pm sharp. The sunset was not so far away, so I decided to take a slow walk along the beach and breathe in the most I could while being here. The sun started getting cloudy, sometimes hiding away the sun. I knew it meant the wind would get way stronger by night and possibly a small storm would heat the seashore. Waves were unnoticeable before; now they could be easily distinguished. The high tide was getting stronger. Although I had known this place since the early childhood, every time I was coming here, I was learning something new and unknown. It was such a great feeling to be the first explorer of something nobody else had any idea of.
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I always kept my eyes sharp, even during such relaxing walks. It was a professional habit that left over even after I quit a job and started my own business. The sun was getting lower, when I noticed something dark on the surface about three hundred feet away from the shore. This object was moving along with the weak stream, going around the rocks. At first, I thought it was just some shard of a tree that broke off some boat after yesterday’s heavy gale, but my guess was refuted by the fact it was floating too high above the surface. Still, I had no idea what it was.
In a minute or two, the wind changed its direction towards the coast. It was a really rare occasion, since usually it was blowing in the direction parallel to the coastline. The object started to grow bigger and bigger. Time was so slowed down, that I could feel my heart beating loud as never. I could not understand the reason of such anxiety. Finally, I distinguished the identifying features of a human. There was somebody in the water. I did not know if he was dead or alive, but since the body was not moving, I could predict the worst outcome. Anyway, I had to get the body out of the water and inform the sheriff about my finding. I knew he would know what to do next, as this was an old friend of mine, Randy. This was happening in his county, so he should be the first one to be informed.
I had a doubt if the wind could bring the body to the shore and not take it away in the sea. I had to think quickly and critically, as the rising tide along with the wind made the sea extremely lumpy. The waves were so restless that, in another 30 minutes, it would be impossible to catch the body; there was a likeliness it would drown. So I had no other choice as to remove my clothes and try to get the body out of the water on my own. After I had it on the surface, Harry would examine it and call the forensics and whoever else could be involved in the investigation.
The water seemed to be chilly, as the wind was sending millions of splashing on my body. The waves were still bearable, and I managed to get to the body in a minute. I could not see the face, but it was definitely a young man. He was 25, maybe 27 years old. His blond hair was all covered with the sea weed. He was floating, tied to a piece of log. I wondered if somebody did that on purpose and wanted him to die in the sea, starving to death or experiencing unbearable dehydration, whatever was going to come first. Suddenly, a chill went through my body. I came back to reality, finding myself next to the corpse of a young man. I felt some sort of uneasiness, discomfort and decided to get done with the rescue mission I had started. Feeling absolutely no wish to touch the dead body, I started pulling the log to the coast. It was not as easy as it was shown in the movies. The weight of the man, along with the heavy log, slowed my movement incredibly. I thought I would never get out of the ocean, but, in 10 minutes, I was on the shore.
Professional interest took over me. I untied the body from the log and noticed the impulse of his leg, when I was turning him over. I bent over his chest and tried to hear the beat of the heart. Seconds were going by, but nothing could be distinguished. I thought it was all over, and now I should definitely need to bring Randy over, when suddenly I heard the weakest beat ever. His heart was still beating, and he was alive! I started remembering the first aid rules. Firstly, I bent him over and raised his body a bit, so that water would go out of his chest, if there was any. Then I laid him on the back gently, trying not to hurt him anymore. Next thing I could remember was pumping the chest right in the place where solar plexus was located. It was a way to massage his heart indirectly and try to restart it. My hands were shaking, as I had never done anything like that before. I was trying to be as gentle as possible; at the same time, I realized that if my efforts were not enough, everything could become pointless. I started pumping the man’s chest rhythmically, counting “One, two, three, four…” I was so convinced I would save him that even did not notice the water on my legs. The tide was continuing to rise. But I still had to revive him before it was too late.
I never thought it was a solution in such cases, but all of a sudden I realized myself to be praying. I was praying, because I knew he needed help of everybody in the world and maybe somebody higher, than the rest of the people. When I got out of the water, I was all soaked and cold. Now I was sweating so much that I had to wipe the drops of sweat off my forehead. I kept pushing his chest, praying instead of counting. He was all the same. The worst ideas started crawling in my mind. Maybe I was doing something wrong? Or was it too late to try and help him, and I was just wasting my time? I was about to quit, as my hands already hurt, and I was really tired after having got the guy out of the sea and trying to revive him, when he coughed. He was coughing so badly that I thought it was an agony, and he was going to leave this world the next second. I raised his upper body a bit, so that he was now not lying right on the ground. He kept coughing for another few seconds, and then he inhaled as deep as I had never seen somebody doing this before. He was breathing. I felt unbelievable. I had just saved the life. Could there be anything else more delightful to be done?
He was breathing deeply, but without regaining consciousness. That could be a problem, as I heard about people, saved after various disasters and catastrophes, who were physically alive, but their brains were already dead. All of a sudden I remembered that I had a bottle of ammonia spirit in the first aid kit in my car. I started running as fast as I could, though I had to go upwards. In a few minutes, I was standing next to my car, realizing the keys were still in the back pocket of my jeans I left near the man. I did not even have a thought to go back, but made a big swing with my arm and elbowed the front glass on the passenger’s side of the car. I could feel the blood running all over my hand, but I had no time to take care of myself; I rushed down, with the first aid kit clenched in my hands. It only took me a minute to get back to the guy; he was still lying motionlessly. I found the ammonia spirit and opened the bottle; there was no time to look for the cotton-wool. I brought it close to his nose, trying not to spill any on him. A few seconds passed without any changes, and I started losing my last hope. The next moment I caught a glimpse of the exhausted eyes of a young man, studying me rapidly. He did not know what was going on, but I could tell he was so happy to be alive. After a flash of staring at me, he barely opened the mouth and whispered: “Thank you”.