How to survive on a raft at sea

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Your boat is beginning to sink. It will be completely beneath the water in a matter of minutes. Quickly, you and your companions ready the life raft, throw it overboard, then jump in yourselves. Paddling away so as not to get sucked under the water by the sinking ship, you and your friends now find yourselves stuck in the middle of the ocean. All alone. Here’s how you survive.


Step One

Look around. Did you get everyone? Is there anyone still floating in the water? If so, pick them up and haul them into the raft. Check the boat’s passengers for survivors with wounds or any other injuries that require immediate first aid. Do what you can for them.


Step Two

Make sure that everyone is warm. Share dry clothing. The wettest of the survivors should remain in the most sheltered part of the raft. If there is extra clothing, a tarp, lining, or any other type of fabric or material, try to erect a wind-free area, however crude, for the coldest of the survivors to huddle beneath. If it’s extremely cold, huddle as close together as possible. If it’s very hot, leave one layer of clothing on to protect you from the rays of the sun.


Step Three

Salvage any materials of use that may be floating nearby.


Step Four

Attach at least one person to the life raft, with a rope or some other suitable item or material, just in case the raft tips; this way, it will never be lost.


Step Five

Don’t drink any water on the first day. Create a water rationing system that will go into effect on day number two.


Step Six

Look around the raft for items that might be used to signal help, such as flares, flags, bright clothing, or an emergency radio. Choose one or several, and have them ready to use at a moment’s notice.


Step Seven

Exercise your muscles often—your toes and fingers, your arms and legs, your buttocks, knees, and shoulders. You don’t want to deal with cramps at a time like this.


Step Eight

Try to stay in the general area of the sunken boat for at least three days. This will make it far easier for rescuers to find you.


Step Nine

Dwell on something that relaxes you. Don’t panic.


Step Ten

When those rescue planes finally make their appearance, wave your prepared signal wildly to catch their attention. Remember: This may be your one chance at rescue.


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