One minute I was sitting on the couch eating an apple the next I was being buffeted around by the strong current pulling me out to sea. Fear bit my chest as I tried to scrabble up on a log but it kept turning so I couldn’t get a good grip.

With my lungs burning I desperately tried one last time to escape my icy tomb. This time, with a little more success, I managed to take another breath before sliding back to what I thought would be a cruel place to take my life.

Spluttering, I coughed up water with an urgency, never felt before in my life. I gasped in cold and uninviting air as I lay on the shingle river bank, shivering from the bitingly cold wind. I crawled up onto the grass and let the night envelope me.

Still puffing from the fight for my life, I let the gentle waves lull me into a deep sleep, haunted with the thought of what could have happened if I had let the waves carry me away.FLOOD