By: Jesse Boxenhorn
This summer was definitely an odd one, as we all went in different ways than our usual routines. I spent a lot of my time on Fire Island where I was staying at a house with my friend. We would go to the beach, get ice cream at Scoops, eat pizza at Town Pizza, and bike around the town. One of the days that I was there, we decided it would be a good idea to go paddleboarding in the bay. It was a foggy day, not too much sun in the sky, which led us away from the beach. It was my friend and I and his family friend. His family friend said that it would be fine if we both were to use one paddleboard. So there we went: his family friend on one board and him and I on the other. It started out relaxing as we saw the deep blue waves pushing behind us. We soon got to a buoy and decided that we thought it would be fine to go out a little further. Soon enough, we looked back and the shoreline was barely in sight. It was engulfed by thick fog. We decided to paddle back in as best as we could. We began to struggle, and we were not getting anywhere due to the rough waves and an approaching storm. We both began to freak out, panicking that we would never make it to shore.
Our other friend paddled in front and soon enough he was out of sight. We weren’t going to give up. I tied the tether from the paddleboard to my foot and swam as my friend paddled on top of the board. Still, we got nowhere. I began to get very scared. We thought maybe we could get some boats’ attention to help us. We scream for help and wave the paddles, yet no boat saw us. I sat there and thought to myself no way is this the way I’m going to die. Fifteen minutes go by, and we see another boat pulling up. I stood upon the paddleboard waving the paddle in the air screaming help, help!.
Suddenly, the boat turned around and came our way. Several men greet us, pulling us and the board onto the boat. I started crying tears of joy thinking that these men basically saved our lives. They gave us warm towels and freshwater and drove us back to the shore. Once we got there, we saw our family friend on another boat coming around the corner. We all made it back safe and sound thanks to a couple of kind men. This reminded me that even in a time like now, in a world filled with so much hardship, there is good. These brave men, despite the possible danger of COVID-19 and precarious waters, decided to go out of their way to help two teenagers make it back to shore. We are forever grateful, and we invited them over for a barbecue the next day. So, while COVID-19 may have made this summer different than usual, it definitely wasn’t boring, and it definitely gave me a few glimpses of hope that humanity will always prevail.
Photo courtesy of upi.com.