I was busy at my computer and I heard that one sentence come from the television in the next room, it is an incredibly powerful and evocative sentence and it certainly invoked a wonderful memory for me - if you don't mind I will tell you about it, it was in the end an incredibly moving experience for me;
Many years ago, shortly after moving to Saldanha, I was strolling on the beach with one of my brothers-in-law and a good friend when suddenly we heard anguished shouting further down the beach, "Help my daughter, I can't swim!", this panicked fellow was shouting repeatedly for help as we ran towards the spot and saw a guy in the water up to his chest pointing away from the shore.
I looked around and saw a tiny little girl sitting in a little inflatable toy boat about 100 metres from the shore, there was a slight offshore breeze and she was gradually drifting further away. Now I am a fair swimmer but in those days I was a working scuba diver in the bay so I was used to a bouyant wet suit and flippers!
I struck off towards her, taking it easy so as not to get too tired by the time I reached her but as I did I noticed that the little boat was deflating quickly and she was about to topple out, just as I caught hold of the boat and reassured her that everything was alright she fell out of the damn thing! This is the stuff of nightmares!
I caught hold of her under the water and brought her to the surface but now I had to swim back with only one arm and the shore line looked very far away. By the time my feet touched the sand I was absolutely shattered and had begun to doubt that I would make it, the relieved Father took his daughter and thanked me profusely, I just sat on the sand for a while recovering my breath.
The years passed and I had all but forgotten the incident when a little while ago there was a knock on my door and that same Father introduced me to his eighteen year old daughter who had just passed her Matric exam!
I tell this story not for self-aggrandisment but for its poignancy, her Father need not have brought her to meet me, she did not remember the incident but he told me that his family prayed for me every day. I was so incredibly moved by his action that I was reduced to tears.