Originally Published by CBC News, July 14, 2016

By Megan Thomas, CBC News

Alone for hours with only his thoughts and the cresting waves, Neil Sherwood forced himself to avoid thinking about the people who would miss him.

He believed it was the only way to survive, and it worked.

The 44-year-old fishing guide managed to swim in cold, rough seas,for more than three hours on Monday. He was 13 nautical miles from land near Kyuquot on Vancouver Island’s west coast.

“Even if I was starting to think about my family, or past loves of my life, or who I would miss, or who is going to miss me, I would immediately just get those thoughts out of my mind,” Sherwood said.

Sherwood, who has been a guide in B.C. since the early 1990s, started the day by picking up a guest at Rodgers Fishing Lodge in Esperanza Inlet.

The weather was far from perfect, but not out of the ordinary for the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, he said.

“The conditions weren’t ideal for fishing, but it’s something that we’ve got to face all the time.”

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Photo courtesy of Neil Sherwood.