Alex Nikoladis is a young man released from prison after being involved in years of rebellion and thuggery. He has dreamed of returning to the water off of Florida's west coast to dive for sponges as his deceased father had. The town he knew however, has declined due to the 'Red Tide,' an algae bloom that has killed the industry. His hopes are further dampened when he goes to live with his older brother John, who has sold their family's sponging boat and is involved in a dangerous underworld of the illegal drug trade. Alex struggles to stay straight, but falls back into this dangerous world out of a desperate need to make money in order to buy back the family's boat. There is constant tension between Alex, John, and John's fiancée, Allison due to John's addiction to drugs. The three struggle for a way out or risk drowning in the 'Red Tide.'