The Washed Up on the Beach meme
The boundlessness and daring unchained nature of the sea captured the attention of writers and historians and adventurers for centuries; it still does! Exploration, conquest, commerce, and luxury all find roots in uncharted waters, be they ocean or large inland sea or freshwater lake and river. Along with those marks of growth come some consequences, born of nature and man: namely, several ways in which you might find yourself…
Not quite sure how you got here? There are a few starter options to consider:
1. Shipwreck: Did it go down in a storm? Lose a fight with pirates? Ignore the warnings of a competent lighthouse-keeper (or see no warnings at all due to a competent one)? Whatever the cause, your ship is lost and you survived, somehow. This applies to lakes and rivers, too, which can be just as tempestuous with a bit more potential for settled, "modern" life springing up around them.
2. Vacation Misfortune: Surfing lesson or session gone wrong? Lose your kayak and your paddle? Not quite the island tour/lakeside town fishing expedition/flight across the sea you expected? Jumping from tall seaside cliffs doesn't always have an easy ending, either. Maybe you were caught in a riptide and managed to get through it, but you definitely aren't where you started...
3. Lost at Sea: Can coincide with a shipwreck, but you might also be an intrepid explorer seeking new and uncharted islands, or someone on the run from an overbearing family or one too many failed assignments. Or you just plain can't read a map and work a sextant at the same time, and your compass doesn't point north.
4. Walk the Plank: Of course, for the less ethically inclined there is always piracy in its various forms. A prisoner or a renegade acting for his own benefit can be forced off the ship into the sea and whatever awaits him there; a stowaway or thief aboard could meet a similar fate.
5. Crossing Lines: Speaking of the criminal realm, if you run afoul of the wrong crowd in a port city, or you are the wrong crowd and you screw up one time too many, there's no law in that lawless profession saying they can't truss you up and toss you off the nearest dock. Hopefully you find some benevolent help after that.
6. Too Close to Land: What if the water is your natural home? Drawing too close to the shallows leaves you subject to crashing waves and sandburn, among other things; stay for too long as the tide ebbs, and you might get beached. Weather is probably a factor for you, too, as the hot sun and changing tide leave you dry quickly, or a storm rolling in makes the surf churn and pull.
It doesn't have to be one of these! There are near-countless variations on how and why and with what means one ends up washed up on the beach (unconscious, or drifting in on a makeshift raft, or swimming for shore, or looking for new discoveries - or any combination thereof), all of which include just a bit of suspension of disbelief. Maybe it's tropical and you can enjoy an impromptu vacation; maybe it's frigid and you have hypothermia to consider; maybe you've come to your senses on the 'shore' of a desert oasis. Be bold. Be creative. AU stuff, one person in another's canon stuff, completely unrelated but you think it would be cool to play this out stuff: everything goes.
Setting up your initial post with some kind of scene suggestion and/or your scenario preferences is recommended, but not required.
Tag other people. Become the rescuer, actively seeking to assist after an accident or rumor you heard, or a fellow survivor/explorer, or someone taking their beachcombing find captive (alone or as part of a larger collective), or someone sent to fetch the missing person for straightforward or nefarious purposes. You don't even need to be the person making the discovery! Maybe you're introducing the washed-up victim to life in his or her new environment instead, a walk about town or a lesson in how to do the hard labor required of such vagrants. This isn't an explicitly smut or violence-ish meme but it could happen, so please take note and warn or describe permissions accordingly.
And have fun!