The following is a true story which I first read in a school boys' story book which was given to me in the 1950s.
A young man was asked to do some work on the deck of a ship. He quite happily engaged in the work by himself for a short time when suddenly the ship pitched to the side, he lost his balance, and he was thrown overboard.

He was very frightened and started to panic when he suddenly remembered the words of advice from the captain to the crew, which were, "If you ever get into a tight spot, keep your head. If you panic, you will loose it."

The young lad decided to follow that advice and keep calm. He could not swim, so he decided to move his arms deliberately and calmly in a 'dog paddle' type of stroke, and found that he could keep his head above water enough to breathe. He then excitedly said to himself, "I can swim!". He managed to struggle free of his long trousers and boots so that he could more easily stay afloat.

He looked at the ship as it continued on it's course. He thought someone would have seen him fall, so it will turn around, but it didn't. The ship kept going at full speed. He watched the ship disappear over the horizon, and he was left alone in the large ocean.

Back on the ship, someone eventually noticed that the lad was missing. He raced up to the captain and reported the young man's absence from his post. The captain established from the crew that the lad was last seen about one hour ago. He also discovered from one of the crew that the lad could not swim. If they go back and find him quickly, he will have been in the water for two hours by the time they rescue him. That is a long time to be in the water for someone who can not swim.

The captain gave the order to put down an oil slick, he than turned the ship 180 degrees and cut a path directly along the oil slick to get a bearing back to where they had come from.

The captain calculated the lad would be in the water two hours by the time they got back to where they believed he fell overboard, but would be alive when they got to him? He could not swim. All the crew kept a keen eye on the vast sea for any sign of the young man. Eventually someone saw his head bobbing up and down in the waves. A boat and crew were lowered from the side of the ship and they went over to the lad. They hauled him out of the water into the boat, and he lay down exhausted, his energy was just about spent.

The crew were astonished, they said to him. "We thought you could not swim." He explained to them that he remembered the captains words, "Always keep calm, don't loose your head." When he followed that advice, he found he could swim.

After some medical attention, the captain spoke with the lad who explained that he owed his life to heeding his (the captains) advice about not panicking. The lad also explained that he knew his captain would bring the ship back to rescue him. The captain asked, "How did you know that." "Because you are like that, sir." Came the reply.

This story tells us a lot about faith in God. Firstly, we must heed the advice which God gives us through the Bible. Secondly, we must have a good knowledge of God, so that we will trust him to act, just as the lad trusted in his captain in this story.

To read about some clear evidence for the Christian faith, click on link. Your Acrobat reader should load. Objectivity.pdf

Captain George H. Grant, Man Overboard, "Readers Digest Junior Omnibus", London, 1958.

David Holden

Aletheia Publishing
Box 641
Albany Creek 4035