Life Saving

Life Saving

It’s not every day that you save someone’s life. Some years ago, I was visited by the philosopher Amie Thomasson at my home on Miami Beach. We were doing water sports. She got into my waveski (a kayak for surfing). I instructed her not to put on the seatbelt until I had explained how to use it. Sometime later I observed that she had capsized and was upside down in the boat unable to rectify herself—her head and body under water. She had ignored my instructions and tied the seatbelt, somehow tangling it up. This is a very dangerous position to be in, because you are being held under water: unless someone comes to save you, you drown. I dived in and swam out at full tilt to the boat, where she was striving unsuccessfully to get her head out of water. By great effort I managed to get the boat upright—not easy with an adult in that position. She would have drowned had I not come to the rescue. I reminded her of what I had told her about the seatbelt. There’s a moral here, more than one.

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