Survival At Sea, Tips and Advice

If you have ever been anywhere near the ocean, being lost at sea is a scenario you have more than likely played out in your head countless times. Whether you are in a boat or simply floating in the open ocean, the feeling of helplessness is beyond comprehension. There have been numerous stories of people who were lost at sea and never found, but not everyone who was subjected to being adrift at sea for an extended period of time succumbed to any of the countless factors working to take their life. Though surviving at sea may seem like something that can be credited more to good fortune than anything else, there are a few tips that can help your chances of making it back to shore alive.

Make Water Your Top Priority

Scientists generally agree that a human can survive up to 8 weeks without any food but can only survive a fraction of that time without water. For this reason, it is of vital importance that you do anything you can to collect fresh water because drinking any amount of seawater will end up doing you more harm than good. If stranded in a small boat or raft there may be a tarpaulin able to capture moisture suitable enough for drinking, but in most cases those who are lost at sea are not afforded such a luxury. If you are like most people who find themselves adrift, you should focus your energy on developing ways to catch rainwater if and when it falls.

Plastic cups, cans, tarps, and even clothing are all viable ways to capture rainwater. If you are using clothing, however, be sure that you first wash it off in the ocean as solid salt crystals, many of which you may not even see, get collected in the fabric of clothing through the salty air. If you fail to rinse off your clothing in the ocean before you capture rainwater, the salt in your clothing will mix with the fresh rainwater and will end up compromising the value of the water you just collected. Of course, the fact that you washed your shirt off in the ocean will make the water you capture taste a bit salty, but it will be significantly less detrimental than if you drank rainwater from an unwashed article of clothing. If you are simply floating in the open ocean with only a life preserver, capturing water naturally becomes a more daunting task. Nonetheless, obtaining fresh drinking water should be your top priority for without it you will face certain death.

Catch Fish

When stranded in a raft or small boat on the open ocean, you will notice that fish love to congregate underneath the vessel. Some experts think fish gravitate towards your boat out of pure curiosity while others think it gives them a sense of protection against predators, most of which come from the sky. Regardless of why the fish are there, they will be the perfect and probably only source of food you have.

Due to a lack of supplies, catching fish will not be an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. If you are able to fashion a hook and small fishing line that would be ideal, but more often than not you will need to catch them by hand. Once you catch the first fish, however, you can use its guts as bait to lure in more. Having said this, you should only begin trying to locate a food source once you have captured life-sustaining water.

Know What to Do If You Encounter a Shark

A nightmare scenario such as getting stranded at sea can be made significantly more nightmarish if you encounter sharks. While sharks tend to concentrate themselves near food sources such as coral reefs, there are a number of sharks who patrol the open oceans as well. The first and best thing you can do to avoid sharks if floating listlessly in the open ocean is to calmly and smoothly swim away, avoiding making any sudden movements or loud splashes. If, however, you see that the shark has taken in interest in you, you will not last very long trying to outswim him. Instead, you should confront the shark and thrust anything at your disposal at his snout. If you make solid contact with the shark you will find that more often than not they give up and swim away.

This may seem like a pretty dumb way of avoiding being bitten by a shark, but it has been proven to work much better than trying to outswim an ocean beast. At the end of the day, survival at sea will depend on just how badly you want to survive. The moment you give up hope is the very same moment you are as good as dead. No matter how hopeless the situation you are in may seem, do anything in your power to survive and continue pressing forward. Most importantly, conserve your energy and only exert yourself when absolutely necessary. The more you exert yourself unnecessarily, the faster you will burn life-sustaining calories.