How To Survive In The Sea When Lost


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Getting lost at sea can be a terrifying experience, but with the right knowledge and preparation, you can increase your chances of survival.

In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know to stay alive in the open ocean, from finding shelter to catching food and attracting rescue.

Stay Calm and Positive

The first and most important thing to do when you find yourself lost at sea is to stay calm and positive.

Panic can lead to poor decision-making and waste valuable energy.

Instead, try to distract yourself with the beauties of the ocean to help you get by.

Find Shelter

Shelter is essential to surviving in the sea.

Don’t discard any clothing; multiple layers can keep you warm during cold nights.

On hot days, drape or prop clothes overhead.

If you have a boat, use it as a shelter.

If not, try to find a floating object that can provide shade and protection from the elements.

Find Water

Drinking seawater can lead to dehydration and death.

Instead, try to collect rainwater or find a way to desalinate seawater.

One way to do this is to use a solar still, which collects water through condensation.

Find Food

A boat’s shadow can attract fish.

To catch them, string jewelry into a lure.

Shoelaces or unraveled sock threads can serve as fishing line.

Save any uneaten bits for bait.

You can also try to catch birds or turtles, but be aware that some species are protected by law.

Attract Rescue

Relax and find familiar shapes in clouds to ease boredom—and keep an eye out for planes and ships.

You can also use a signal mirror or flare gun to attract attention.

If you have a radio, try to contact nearby vessels or the coast guard.

Be Prepared

Before setting sail, make sure you have all the necessary equipment and supplies, including a life jacket, a first aid kit, a radio, a compass, and a map.

Let someone know your itinerary and expected return time.

Learn from Survivors

Reading about the experiences of survivors can provide valuable insights into what it takes to stay alive in the sea.

For example, José Salvador Alvarenga holds the record for the longest solo survival at sea.

He was adrift for 438 days, and traveled over 6,700 miles.

In conclusion, getting lost at sea is a nightmare scenario, but with the right mindset, skills, and equipment, you can increase your chances of survival.

Remember to stay calm, find shelter, water, and food, and attract rescue.

And most importantly, be prepared.