He Fell In

man overboard punting on the River Cam at Cambridge

Victoria said someone often fell in, but I’d never seen it happen and I’d been down to the river many times. Some of our group walked on and then I saw the splash.

My camera was in my bag. Why was it in my bag? Surely you’ve learned by now that the only way to go out taking photos is to have the camera in your hands. Will you ever learn?

He fell in, and within seconds the punt drifted and the pole was on the other side of the river. (You can see the pole sticking out of the river bed in the second photo.)

When I saw the splash, I worried about the person who fell in. Then I saw him pull himself back on board easily. He was good at doing that. I wondered how good I would be with my shoes and trousers weighing me down. I’d have much more of a struggle than he had.

What had happened? Had he simply lost his balance? Had the pole got stuck in the river bed?

They had a little paddle, but not much hope of fighting their way across the stream with it.

A man in the punt upstream passed by and casually picked the pole out of the river as he came past. He dropped it flat on the water next to the pole-less punt.

Soon the man who had fallen in was standing up, pushing the punt along as though nothing had happened.

The only sign that anything had happened was that he was soaking wet.

When we caught up to Victoria we talked about how he might catch pneumonia, it being a cold and windy day.

Throughout out it all I was thinking about his wallet or whether he had a phone, and how wet they would get.


  1. reb says:

    You got your camera out relatively quickly, though …


    1. Yes, relatively. Kind of. If I want to be in the frame of mind to say ‘Yes, take the shot.’ then I have to have the camera in my hand. When the man fell in the water I spent an age (relatively) deciding whether to drag my camera out of my bag.

      This is when I had the camera in my hand in Vienna – https://photographworks.me/2018/09/14/people-photos/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. reb says:

        They were great [Vienna]! I don’t like to take people pictures — I avoid it — but I very much enjoy looking at others’.


        1. I enjoy the process when I am abroad, but not so much when I am here in the UK. Weird, eh?


        2. reb says:

          There must be some underlying reason LOL

          I don’t think I like it anywhere … but I DEFINITELY wouldn’t do it in my hometown.


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