Thank you to everyone who wrote supportive things to me. I appreciate the input even though my story wasn’t a shtf disaster.
I will add one thing I forgot to put in the original post and one thing I was hesitant to write, but they are important points:
The experience taught me that drowning is a terrible way to die. I literally only just escaped drowning and I believe another few seconds and I wouldn’t have been able to stop it from happening. The years have faded some of the details now but I do remember the indescribable terror I felt that I can’t put into words. It was a choking, painful, utterly exhausting experience and I knew that despite all my best efforts and the fact I desperately wanted to live, I was going to die, and die alone. What’s more, nobody would even know what had become of me (unless my body were to wash ashore somewhere) because nobody knew I was at that beach.
I know there are those who are contemptuous of religious stuff so they may want to pass over this next bit, but I believe it was my silent crying out to Christ for help is the only thing that saved me that day. Some may believe it was happenstance that got me ashore, but I’ll give the credit and the glory to Christ without hesitation.
Bugs Bunny: "I speak softly, but I carry a big stick."
Yosemite Sam: "Oh yeah? Well I speak LOUD! and I carry a BIGGER stick! and I use it, too!" BAM!