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  • In the summer of 2015, as a traditional trip, my friends and I spent two days in the Ocean City in Maryland. During our stay at the beach, we encountered a huge storm that caused craziest current and waves. Trees were constantly swinging and windows were shaking by the strong wind and rain. We waited dispiritedly in our room hoping that it will stop by tomorrow. Thankfully, the rainstorm finally ceased. Not many people were outside swimming in the ocean and playing in the sand. Also, there were no lifeguards watching over people. Only surfers were enjoying their precious moments.

    We were just fearless college students dying to play in the water. As soon as our eyes witnessed the ocean, we were overwhelmed by the excitement. We screamed and jumped around the water as if we got to play in the water for the first time. Normally, you would not see such huge waves and water movement in Maryland. The waves were continuously clashing and overturning. My friends and I refused to just stay and watch. Recklessly we stormed into the ocean. Who would have thought that we would encounter a life-threatening event?

    After playing in the water about thirty minutes, we got tired quickly because of the rough condition of the ocean. I saw two of my friends already getting ready to leave. As soon as I turned around I faced a wave that was about two times higher than me. Immediately I was swallowed up. Intuitively, I brought myself up and began swimming back. I stretched my feet out to see if I could walk, but I realized It was too late. No matter how hard I swam toward the shore, the current pulled me even further out to the sea. For the first time ever, I thought to myself, I must keep my head straight or I am going to die. Sometimes, things we learned as a children prove their value years later. My father always told me not to struggle in the water when I get drowned. He always emphasized that I should relax and let the waves do the work. Having these awakened memories in my head, I came to my senses and tried to swim only when waves hit me, so that I was not just paddling and fighting against the current that was pulling me back. After numerous attempts, I was able to reach at the point where I could stand and walk in the water.

    I pulled myself out of this terrifying ocean. But as soon as I was standing in the water, my eyes directed at my friend who was drowning effortlessly. He used up all of his energy trying to fight against the current that was pulling him in an opposite direction. Unintentionally swallowing the salt water made him difficult to breathe. The moment I saw my friend’s helpless eyes, without taking a proper breath, I sprinted straight into the water. I just could not think about leaving him behind. He was about 30 to 40 meters away from the shore. I swam into the ocean as hard as I could, grabbed his arm and pulled him towards me. It was not so difficult to reach him. The real problem was going back. I immediately grabbed his hands and told him “Only swim when the waves come.” We swam together relentlessly. I cannot remember how many attempts were taken. Slowly but surely we reached at the point where our feet were touching the ground. Scared and terrified, we dragged our fully exhausted body out of the sea. I still believe that we were extremely lucky to be alive. Often times, when I recall that memory, I realize how small our existence is in the face of nature.
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