I had carelessly paddled my way into a riptide.
The mermaid who rescued me was dark skinned, like myself, with hair like kelp ropes, muscular arms, a thick torso, a serpentine tail & gold eyes. I was a soft pile of dough by comparison, even though I was fit and a strong swimmer.
"No thanking. I just didn't want your corpse littering my home. Attracts all sorts of vermin."
"Understood," I mumbled, still grateful.