When I was in my teens a bunch of us from the swimming club were playing football (soccer) on the jetty with a tennis ball. As long as we kept the ball low it stayed in play because of the 12” lip along each side of the jetty. In an effort to save a goal the ball bounced off my foot and gained just enough height for the inevitable to happen and the ball ended up in the river. According to custom I was unceremoniously thrown in after it, about a fifteen foot drop at low tide.
When I came up I saw the ball just a few feet away, swam over to it and threw it back up onto the jetty. I looked for the ladder and began to swim towards it but soon realised that I was going against the current and the ladder was not getting any closer. The tide was going out and combined with the flow of the river the current was stronger than I had ever felt it before.

I put my head down and did the best 50 yard freestyle swim I could muster figuring I would surely easily make it with that effort. I looked up and there was the ladder still 10 feet away and me exhausted. Luckily for me my brother had not rejoined the game until he knew I was safe and he told me he'd find a way to get me out at the last ladder. The ladder I was heading for was the only one that reached the water at this point of the tide. The other two stopped about 4 feet short, ok for boats but not swimmers.
I began to do the back stroke against the current as I watched him run to the last ladder and quickly climb down. He hooked a foot on the ladder and hanging on with one hand reached down as far as he could. By this time I was traveling fairly fast and I knew there would be only one attempt.
I can't say I was worried because I thought I could easily free myself from the current, if not before I reached the river mouth then, soon after I was swept out of the harbor. Being a teenager I knew I was invincible and I had taken the St. Johns swimmers lifesaving course. It didn't have a lot in it about saving yourself except for 'How to avoid being pulled under by a drowning man' and 'Getting out of a dangerous current'. The latter would help me in this situation. Unlike the numerous other people who had drowned here, I would not tire myself fighting it and would simply swim back the one or two miles to the beach. I knew where to head for because I knew where we always found the victims washed up.
I was more worried about missing tea time, or worrying my mother, than a simple swim back to shore.
Luckily the ploy worked and I was able to grab my brother's hand as I rushed by and he hauled me out of the water high enough to grab the ladder.
We never mentioned the incident at home and it would probably have passed into the forgotten archives of my memory but for the fact that I learned about hypothermia soon after. The North Sea is cold but we were used to it. We swam from our long sandy beach close to the river mouth. Our hands and feet would be numb with the cold after a long swim but what I had not realised was the fact that the reasonably shallow water we swam in was warm (aprox. 63oF) compared to the deep water off shore where it could be up to 10o lower.
So, short of getting the 'Air Sea Rescue' launch to find me, (the next probable step) I do believe that my brother saved my life that day.