How to Survive Being Adrift at Sea
We don’t usually feature things that do not usually concern an ordinary Joe and Jane. But with the title, you’d definitely get that this one’s for those highly unlikely but still possible extreme situations. Here’s one for your personal survival guide.
So let’s say you’re in a cruise ship (Or any other ship, matie! Arr!) and suddenly encountered some freak coincidence. A storm. An iceberg. Or any other disaster that forces you to abandon ship. How will you survive the open sea? Here’s how.
Strap on a life vest. If you’re in a cruise liner, the chances of things going wrong are probably slim. Still, you should pay attention to those short talks about ship safety by one of the ship’s officers. They usually drill you where the lifeboats and the life vests are. If, by any case, you need to abandon ship. Follow the instructions and prioritize getting a life vest more than anything else.
Grab supplies. Life boats and rafts usually have a survival kit in them but they only offer the bare minimum. Grab supplies such as food, fresh water, and medical supplies with you. A flashlight would also be helpful to serve as a signal. If you can also grab something reflective such as a pair of spectacles, a pocket mirror or even a piece of aluminum foil. This can serve as a reflective surface to signal airplanes passing by overhead. Four of the best things to grab – canned food, lots of water, a VHF radio and a flare.
Get to a lifeboat. Get only to a boat if the ship is sinking or is on fire. Boats have a better chance to up your survival rate in the open sea than an inflatable raft. However, oftentimes, you’d only find rafts and if such is the case, make sure you get yourself into one. They offer a bit more protection than simply drifting out in sea in your vest.
Get dry and get warm. The open sea can be harsh on you. One of the things you should avoid is hypothermia so keep yourself dry and warm. Seawater and too much exposure to the sun can make your skin dry to the point of making it crack. Avoid getting scars as much as possible since infection can set in. Keep yourself in the shade and keep yourself hydrated. Drink 8 glasses of water as long as you have supply.
Try to get to land. If you happen to have a compass then good for you. The second best thing, a watch. You can always get your bearings by watching where the sun is and checking the time. From sunrise to just before noon, the sun’s at the east and the afternoon to evening, it’s at the west. Paddle to the direction of the nearest known land form. Just don’t overexert yourself.
December 2, 2007 Sunday at 5:17 am