How To Survive On The Open Ocean

Being stranded in the open ocean on a sailing trip is the last thing anyone would ask for. However, you never know when you may be stranded and you therefore need to be prepared. As a survivor in the open sea, you will face wind and waves and other environmental hazards that will give you lots of problems. In order to stay alive in the ocean until rescue comes, follow these fives survival tips when stranded.

It's something most people don't need to worry about, but it pays to be prepared.
It’s something most people don’t need to worry about, but it pays to be prepared.

Do not panic

When stranded in the sea, panicking is a direct ticket to death and fatal injuries. You need to keep a calm head as this will allow you to keep on thinking clearly and also keep your energy intact. Panicking will only make you lose the ability to think and use your energy. Maintaining a calm head and demeanor will also help reassure the others that are with you and also help them keep calm.

Find drinking water at sea

When trapped in the deep sea, you will definitely need water to drink to keep you going. Quite ironic when you find yourself surrounded by lots of water but you do not have a drop to drink. However, if you are prepared, resourceful and willing to put effort into collecting clean drinkable water, then you should be able to save your life. You can trap moisture by fitting your vessel with plastic tarpaulin for catching rainwater and draining it into containers. You can even use your clothes that have been encrusted with salt crystals. Give the clothes a seawater bath at the first sight of rain. The water will still be salty but not as salty as the salt residue.

Catch fish in open waters

When in a life raft, small fish will often gather beneath the raft. They do this because of curiosity or just because they feel sheltered when there. Once they gather around, you can catch the fish and perhaps satisfy your need for nourishment. Use anything flashy or a hand line with a hook to lure the fish.

Avoid shark bites

Sharks don’t usually hunt people as a source of food but that does not mean they will not bite when they get the opportunity. Always try to avoid shark bites at any cost. When faced by a shark attack, try to stab its eyes or gills or hit its super sensitive nose. If this does not work, you can then dive in the waters and submerge yourself to the seafloor and wait till it leaves.

Plug a leak

When stranded on a boat in the open ocean, chances of your boat starting to leak are very high. Water that gets into the boat due to rain and waves coming over the bow are not a real danger but that which finds its way through leakages are quite dangerous.  Hopefully you will have brought your best survival tomahawk or other survival gear with you. You can stop the leak by placing a conical soft wood plug tethered to the hull or use a large plastic sheet across the leak on the outside of the hull.

The aforementioned tips can be very helpful when stranded in the ocean on a boat. Your survival will depend on your skills, knowledge to use the available survival equipment and above all, your will to survive. Keeping a positive mental outlook matters a lot when in such a situation.  For more information about survival tips and prepping head over have a read.

Feel free to contact us if you want to discuss more about safety when hiring a yacht for your dream sailing trip.

You can also read our guide to essential safety equipment.

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