I’m a pretty good swimmer at the ripe-old age of 69, but it took all I had to claw my way to the surface. My heavy, soaked clothing was weighing me down. The 15.5 pounds of buoyancy in my old life jacket were just enough to help me to the surface. I grabbed the deck of the pontoon and gave a couple of forced, loud exhalations to help control my breathing. That cold water was beginning to take its toll. The other man called 911, gave me the end of an oar, and helped me get up the boarding ladder.