ACB's thread reminded me of a funny incident in the Metchosin area up the West coast from Victoria B.C. near my sister in laws.
Her neighbours were out for a walk along the tide at night (a dark one) when they heard cries for help.
This fellow in a small fishing boat had a dead engine and was calling for help.
They hailed him and startled the heck out of him and then asked him why he didn't get out and pull his boat ashore.
Turns out he'd been adrift so long that he had no idea he was even near shore. He'd given up on trying to row anywhere or he would have found that he was in less than a foot of water.
He originally thought they were hailing him from another boat.