I Almost Drowned. My Best Friend Rescued Me.

He saved me from imminent death.

A.J. Bryant
4 min readSep 28, 2021
Photo by Arun Kr from Pexels

There’s a marked difference between being a strong and efficient swimmer, and being able to swim. That contrast almost killed me.

Years ago, I was sailing with my best friend Jay on his parent's boat, near Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. We had finished lunch an hour earlier and were relaxing and chatting with his parents, Sue and Hunt.

When Jay said ‘let’s swim to shore, there’s a beach on the other side and cute girls.’ I should have declined. But I was afraid of looking weak or scared. I’m not the first guy to attempt something he’s never done before hoping to meet women.

After Jay suggested we swim to the beach, Sue protested on my behalf. She told Jay she wasn’t sure I could make it to shore. She didn’t know anything about my swimming ability.

But she knew Jay was a fantastic swimmer. He spent his summers swimming in Mystic, Connecticut. But my ego spoke for me and I replied, ‘I’m sure I can do it. Let's go.’

Jay and I jumped into the water. Right away he was ahead of me. I began swimming and trying to catch up. Mistake one.

I got a little bit closer. He slowed down and encouraged me. ‘You’re doing great buddy, keep it up.’ We were about 15–20 yards away from the…



A.J. Bryant

Adopted from Kerala. I write about adoption, my intercultural marriage, contemporary India and more. Prawns are my love language.