'I am Abel Withers, a Cornishman born and bred; my brother and I have spent our lives on the sea and in boats off the beautiful Cornish coast. In the late summer of 1960 I rescued a beautiful young lady from drowning in the Fal estuary. From that day on my life changed: there was to be heartache and happiness; violence and serenity. And I was to discover that the old coastal trade of smuggling was once again being practised, a discovery which almost cost me my life—and that of the girl I loved. This is a Cornish seaman’s story . . .'