I was working in the cafe yesterday and it looks out over the Rathlin Sound. The bay was crystal clear and perfect for the first paddle-boarding session of the season. So, my husband and my son picked me up after work and we headed over to the beach. By the time we got there it was a little rougher than it had been in the morning, but I'd just spent 9 hours serving coffees to St Paddy's Day punters and the only thing holding me together was the thought of surfing. So I got out beyond the break and it was everything I wanted. The sun was setting and laid a lane of gold down on the surf for me. I was paddling back towards my boys and there was a break in the sets. My husband called for me to go further out - I hadn't realised how far in I had come. The break was quite long between sets of about seven waves, each one building to about a 3-4 foot and then it'd level out again. This beach is a nasty break. It shelves really steeply so the drag on the waves has gravity on its side. When they dump, they dump hard. So I turned back around again and headed out beyond the break just as the sets were starting again, thinking I was just in time. The first couple were fine to get over. The third was big and heavy. I leaned back and the board went up and over and I was thinking, 'I own this!' And then the next one was right behind it. It came up on me, dragged me and the board right into it. The board was pulled out from under me and thrown back in my face. There was that six-foot washing machine feeling of not knowing up from down. All I could tell was that I was inches away from clear air, but it may as well have been a hundred feet. As soon as I cleared the water I screamed for help and then saw my son on the shoreline watching for me. I knew I couldn't actually panic, because that would send him into panic, so I held it together and starting swimming. Each time I'd get somewhere the drag of the next wave would suck me down, up, over and throw me away. All I could do was try to vaguely be thrown a little closer to shore each time. The board was thrown straight into shore and my husband reached it pretty fast and started heading back towards me, but by the time he'd managed through the swell I was back to the point where I could stand. When I got in my son said, 'You got rinsed'.