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By Gabriel Garcia Marquez

 In 1955, Garcia Marquez was once operating for El Espectador, a newspaper in Bogota, whilst in February of that 12 months 8 group participants of the Caldas, a Colombian destroyer, have been washed overboard and disappeared. Ten days later one in all them became up, slightly alive, on a abandoned seashore in northern Colombia. This e-book, which initially seemed as a sequence of newspaper articles, is Garcia Marquez's account of that sailor's ordeal.

Translated through Randolf Hogan.

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If the raft had overturned at 5 o’clock within the night, the sharks could have torn me to items. yet at nighttime they’re quiet. or even extra so whilst the ocean is stirred up. while I sat down within the raft back, i used to be clutching the oar that the shark had demolished. every little thing had occurred so fast that each one my events were instinctive. Later I remembered that after I fell within the water the oar hit my head and that i grabbed it whilst i started to sink. It used to be the one oar left at the raft. The others had disappeared. in order to not lose even this small stick, part destroyed via the shark, I tied it securely with a free rope from the mesh ground. the ocean was once nonetheless raging. This time I have been fortunate. If the raft overturned back, i would now not have the ability to achieve it. With that during brain, I undid my belt and lashed myself to the mesh flooring. The waves crashed over the facet. The raft danced at the turbulent sea, yet i used to be safe, tied to the ropes by way of my belt. The oar was once additionally safe. As I labored to make sure that the raft wouldn’t overturn back, i noticed I had approximately misplaced my blouse and footwear. If I hadn’t been so chilly, they'd were on the backside of the raft, including the opposite oars, while it overturned. It’s completely basic for a raft to overturn in tough seas. The vessel is made from cork and coated with waterproof cloth painted white. however the backside isn’t inflexible; it hangs from the cork body like a basket. If the raft turns over within the water, the ground instantly returns to its basic place. the one hazard is in wasting the raft. as a result, I figured that so long as i used to be tied to it, the raft may well flip over one thousand instances with out my wasting it. That was once a truth. yet there has been something I hadn’t foreseen. 1 / 4 of an hour after the 1st one, the raft did a moment astonishing somersault. First i used to be suspended within the icy, damp air, whipped via the gale. Then I observed hell correct earlier than my eyes: i spotted which manner the raft might flip over. i attempted to maneuver to the other aspect to supply equilibrium, yet i used to be sure to the ropes via the thick leather-based belt. immediately i spotted what was once taking place: the raft had overturned thoroughly. i used to be on the backside, lashed firmly to the rope webbing. i used to be drowning; my fingers searched frantically for the belt buckle to open it. Panic-stricken yet attempting to not turn into careworn, i assumed how one can undo the buckle. I knew I hadn’t wasted a lot time: in reliable actual situation i may remain underwater greater than 80 seconds. once I had discovered myself less than the raft, I had stopped respiring. That was once at the least 5 seconds long past. I ran my hand round my waist and in lower than a moment, i feel, i discovered the belt. In one other moment i discovered the buckle. It used to be mounted to the ropes in this type of means that I needed to push myself clear of the raft with my different hand to free up it. I wasted time trying to find a spot to snatch carry. Then I driven off with my left hand. My correct hand grasped the buckle, orientated itself quick, and loosened the belt. preserving the buckle open, I diminished my physique towards the ground, with no letting cross of the part, and in a fragment of a moment i used to be freed from the ropes.

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