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Matt waited for the next wave to pound the boat before he grabbed his florescent orange jacket and leaped toward the small wooden bedroom door.
Falling into water as cold as these would feel like being crushed between two oncoming cars. It would only take minutes before you lose consciousness, and moments later, extreme hyperthermia and death.
He stumbled his way up the main corridor as the boat rocked heavily from side to side. The boat was quite large, with three levels. Two above sea level and one underneath, with plenty of bunk-rooms spread across the levels to hold the large crew. Women generally had the second level from the top, the crew normally called it mid-level and was the least used of the levels.
The men who usually worked on deck had their rooms located at the top level, just below the captains quarters above. This top level was the largest of them all, holding a kitchen, dining area and social table as well as the two-man rooms located at the back, this was where Matt was located as he raced up the main corridor toward the ever-growing noise on deck.
The very bottom level of the ship, the crewman and women named 'rock-bottom'. This level had the least amount of bedrooms as more than half of this level was dedicated toward large technical and engineering gadgets to keep the ship running. The bedrooms on this deck were filled with only men, who looked after the ship and made sure it was top-notch at all times, these men were often reffered to as the 'bottomers'.
Back up on top level as Matt passed the small kitchen, he grabbed a cookie from the counter and shoved it into his mouth. Food was priceless for the hardened men and women on board; it was a weapon. Their job was based off the energy that came from their food. Therefore there was never a time when there wasn't a quick snack to grab off the kitchen counter.
He made his way further down the long wooden corridor, reaching the base of some steel stairs and peering up with his dark eyes, allowing himself a quick breath.
It was only a moment before he made his way quickly up the stairs, bracing himself for the wind and icy water flicking everywhere. His captains voice could still be heard bellowing, but was soon drowned out by a high pitched bell that echoed throughout the ship; it meant man overboard.
He reached the top of the steel stairs and barged open the heavy door at the top. He was hit with a wall of sound. The screaming became louder - the bell was almost deafening - with the captain's quarters being just above, looking over the large deck which was full of crab pots and fish traps.
The most noticeable feature on the deck though was the large crane-like structure protruding from the middle. It was in easier terms, one of the largest fishing rods in the modern world. Using thousands of baited hooks connected to a large net, which was in turn connected to a large cable leading to the top of the crane. From a distance it almost looked like a strange flower, hence the ships name "Seaflower".
To Matt's complete surprise, there were only a handful of people running around on deck, grabbing ropes and yelling at each other. The rest of the people that were meant to be on fishing shift, were strewn across the ground, either not moving at all or clutching at some part of their body in pain. Matt tightened his lips; they were second priority at the moment. He ran over to the remaining people that were able to stand, one of them being a short, stubby man with a long brown beard and a beanie pulled down over half of his face. It was Matt's tough roommate, Harry.
"Matt," he rumbled over the sound of the bell, while wrapping the rope around his shoulder. "Come give us a hand, would ya'?".
Matt nodded, his eyes wide. "The lifejacket!" he yelled back as he raced toward his left, jumping over a limp body. He reached a small metal pole with a water proof cabinet leaning up against it. It was the emergency cabinet. Matt quickly flung it open, revealing a couple of strobe lights, a flare gun, and two lifejackets. He grabbed one strobe light and attached it to one of the lifejackets shoulder pockets before turning and jumping back over the limp body and toward Harry, who was now straining to see over the side of the boat.
"Who was it?" Matt screamed over the still deafening bell, while handing Harry the lifejacket. "Who was it that fell?"
Harry took the lifejacket and tied it to the rope, looking troubled for a second. He glanced up at Matt with pain clear in his eyes. "Kim," Harry said so quietly that Matt had to read his lips.