A dead man complains that he was further out than anyone thought and not waving at them, but instead drowning. Well that's tough luck, because nobody hears him.
Other people remark that it's too bad he's dead, especially since he was a bit of a goodtime guy. They think of reasons that he might have died, including the coldness of the water and heart failure.
But the dead guy ain't havin' that. He tells them (not that they're listening or anything) that he was struggling all his life—not just at the moment of his death.