I'll start by saying this image is absolutely captivating! It was such a pleasant surprise to come across today in the hourly swarm of Critiqueables.
The only thing I'm not absolutely crazy about is the fuzziness of the top half, but because the photographer caught such an amazing moment, it's quite forgivable. (and that's just my personal nitpicking anyway!)
This photo fascinates me. I'm kind of curious to know how the little girl's "boat" is still even remotely above water! It seems like a deep bowl and it's sinking relatively fast -- I also am curious about what happened to her! How far out was she in the water? Why was she there in the first place? etc. This is such a surreal image...like she's climbing out from an impossible abyss, maybe even a split in time? We can not see her face in this instance, but one could certainly imagine her expression. Uncertain calmness, likely followed by a display of how she really feels; "Stop sinking my boat !!!" Gorgeous capture!
Actually, I think the fuzziness in the top half (distance) ENHANCES the photo. It really gives a sense of depth. You still know exactly what's out there, but the shallow depth of focus forces your attention to the girl in the center and on her predicament, rather than on the boats and waves swirling around her.
It's also interesting that the girl is photographed from behind. Again, rather than identifying her with a particular individual, she becomes a symbol of so many people struggling on their journey, with all the careless powers around them threatening to swamp their tiny boats.