100 people went into the water and there were only 5 life boats that I counted. We huddled tightly together in groups floating in fierce, cold water. I looked in every direction for a tip or slice of land, but only the water and the horizon met together for miles around us.

I hid my terror from my group as we clung to each other wide eyed, wet and hopeful that the coast guard would come. The first great white made a terrifying splash, circling around us in a dart – like pattern. Its dorsal fin sliced through the water and disappeared. I closed my eyes and prayed, trying to ignore the massive depth below me. The sun was just sinking below the horizon, after counting to 20 its last line of orange and yellow light burned out leaving us alone in the dark sea that so quickly became our world.

We heard the bubbling of our damaged ship and a sucking noise then nothing. It sounded like it was next to us but could have been yards away, we couldn’t see. I felt something bump me in my back and then my hand glided over sandpaper, so rough it scratched my palm and wrist deeply. As it passed me I heard someone else scream, I assumed it may have curiously bumped her as well.

Flashlights of painful light shone on our faces from lucky crew members already in the life boats coming towards my group. I waited for my turn and someone grabbed me under my armpits and pulled me into a boat. I started to cry, just for a moment then composed myself to help the others. The sharks were becoming more curious, we were running out of time.

It felt like days until dawn, just over the familiar horizon I saw a tip of a ship growing larger in my blurred vision. We heard the welcoming sound of helicopters heading towards us. We clung to each other and cheered. Who we were before was taken from us, but together we became survivors.

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