In the beginning, Rainsford (left) and Whitney (right) began discussing the hunt or the "game." Rainsford made remarks saying that the animals have no feelings while Whitney thinks the opposite.
Rainsford fell off of the yacht while trying to reach his pipe that was knocked out of his mouth. First, he tried to catch up to the yacht so he could get back on, but obviously, he couldn't catch up. He soon heard gunshots. He decided to swim towards the sound because he knew they were also hunters. And he knew where there are hunters, there is food.