The present paper is focused on the specific treatment of the sea topic in the Latvian writer Egons Līvs’ prose fiction. His works are focused on people who are related to the sea – fishermen and their families. Using the methodology of semiotics, two major variants of actualizing the sea topic in E. Līvs’ prose fiction are singled out: (1) the sea as a space of the rite of initiation, (2) the existential sea that preserves or takes one’s life. Within each of these thematic groups, one work by the writer is analyzed, emphasizing the specificity of the sea topic in it and characterizing the significance of the sea in the revelation of the conception of human and the construction of the world model. The literary and biographical contexts are briefly characterized by means of the biographical and anthropological methods.