ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Survival Guide Series: How To Survive Being Adrift at Sea

Updated on April 7, 2017
"3 boys found after drifting 50 days on the Pacific Ocean."
"3 boys found after drifting 50 days on the Pacific Ocean." | Source

Alright, I have to be honest. I was inspired to write this after watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, season 7 - episode 2. In the middle of this episode Mac and Frank (Danny Devito's character) fall asleep on a small lifeboat, only to wake up a few hours later far out at sea without any sight of the shoreline. The two hapless sunbathers are eventually rescued by a party boat filled with Jersey Shore stereotypes, but the experience left them visibly scarred and sunburned.

But back to my point. What if you were the one stuck in the middle of the sea/ocean with no shoreline or party boat in sight for miles in any direction? We will approach this question from two situational reference points. In one instance, we will have a raft, flotilla, or else we're just extremely fat. In another instance, we don't have a floating device...in which case we're screwed.

We On a Raft

"Gilligan's Island minus the Island."
"Gilligan's Island minus the Island."

So now you're in a life raft, gently rocking with the steady movement of the waves. Rays of sun are beating down on you and the other five survivors of the sunken cruise ship, the SS. Titanic Redux. Receiving regular doses of heatstroke and sunburn, you and your fellow rafters have been adrift for five days...no food...no potable water...no hope.

It would have been nice if you'd had a few rescue supplies. Say for instance these:

  1. Mirror or other reflective surfaces like tin foil, rockin' bling, disco ball
  2. Matches
  3. Batteries
  4. Flares -- red, green it doesn't matter.
  5. Two-way radio (e.g. Marine VHF)
  6. First-aid kit
  7. Sunscreen, or at least a hat.
  8. Bottled Water
  9. Plastic Wrap
  10. String/Rope

Each one of these nifty little trinkets and gadgets serve an essential purpose in keeping you both alive and sane through this harrowing experience. Mirrors and flares are the perfect means by which to signal potential rescuers. Sunscreen, bottled water and first-aid kits to will go far in keeping you alive and hydrated. The string can be used in conjunction with a metal hook for fishing. Meanwhile, you'll need the proper batteries to operate any portable rescue device...including that two-way radio that you will undoubtedly use to beg for the assistance of passing planes and cargo ships.

Even without the gizmos and comforts of the modern world, you know what they always say: "necessity is the mother of invention." In the most desperate of situations there have always been amazing tales of ordinary people pushing the boundaries of human courage and endurance to find creative/practical ways to stay alive. Take this story of two sailors stranded in the massive pacific ocean as the perfect example. The pair were marooned on a small raft-like vessel for a total of 33 days. Lacking in supplies they had to improvise with whatever they had. They were eventually found on an "isolated atoll on the southern fringes of the Marshall Islands." Or take the story of 65 year old Richard Van Pham, a Vietnamese-American who remained adrift on his small sailboat for close to four months. He survived by trapping and eating seabirds using turtle meat as a lure and collecting rainwater whenever available.

No Raft, Big Problem

"You feelin lucky...mmmmm (gasp)...punk...mmm."
"You feelin lucky...mmmmm (gasp)...punk...mmm."

Without a raft...well have you ever seen the movie Open Water. Yeah, you won't be lasting very long. Your best options are to conserve both energy and body heat, get to a spot that is noticeable or has a lot of traffic, and signal anyone by any means possible. If you can float in the water for long periods of time do so to conserve your strength. Otherwise, you'll be treading your way to an early grave (now I wish I had more blubber). If you happen to have a life jacket/preserver, curl yourself up into the fetal position to conserve heat. Also, if you happen to have handy knickknacks such as a flashlight or a whistle...use them.

Helpful Pointers

Of course you can have all the resources in the world, your as dead a door nail without the proper means to use them. Here is a list of methods and practices that could mean the difference between seeing solid ground again or sleeping with the fishes.

  1. Keep a level head and focus on surviving: You'd be surprised how many folks throw in the towel when confronted with this type of situation.
  2. Ration your food: For obvious reasons.
  3. Everything from your raft to your toothpick should be a bright, noticeable color: Don't get that aqua marine blue life jacket.
  4. If as in our scenario, you are stuck near the wreckage of a ship. Stay near the wreckage as long as possible.
  5. Establish a daily survival routine: Get up, brush your teeth, check for scurvy, etc.
  6. Focusing on the horizon may held delay or stave off seasickness.

Some Comforting Thoughts

First of all, the life rafts being made today are akin to nuclear survival capsules. They are equipped with flares, paddles, covers, pumps, two-way radios, signaling mirrors, repair and fishing kits, insulated flooring, and a trident to cement your place as god of the sea. Also, there are literally hundreds of thousands of ships and planes traversing the globe each day many of which are listening for emergency transmissions in the off chance they may have to help someone. (See Global Maritime Distress Safety System.)

No Time To Read....Check Out The Official Video Summary of This Article.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)