Have you experienced being stuck in a sea disaster? It feels like you’re in a “Survivor” series, trying to fight for your life. While it seems pretty far-fetched, people have been known to survive months and even years out at sea after their sea vessel had capsized. As the true story of Adrift would show — a couple of sailors find themselves in a ruined boat after sailing into one of the biggest storms ever — if you’re smart and determined enough, you can find a way to survive and get back home.
There are plenty of tips online from survival guides just in case you do find yourself lost at sea and here are the most important tips to remember:
Drink water. Dehydration is the first killer issue that you have to address when adrift in the middle of the ocean. Sure, there is water everywhere, but drinking sea water will make you sick and dehydrate you fast. So, make it your first order of business to assess what you have on hand and how to use them to gather fresh water should your stores run out. A tarp is always useful for gathering rainwater, and generally useful to have when you’re stranded on a boat, so make sure you have one on hand before you even leave land.
Make a shelter. Don’t throw out any cloth or tarp or sails. They would be infinitely useful to you as a rainwater collector and shelter. Use cardboard to make yourself a hat to cover your head. Exposure to the sun during the day and the cold at night could increase your risk of dying out there.
Eat. You can only survive for five to six weeks max without food, even if you have water. Find a way to catch a fish that would inevitably start being attracted to the shelter of your boat. Don’t be squeamish. Grab a turtle or even a bird if you can. Their blood can keep you hydrated as well. And no, don’t even try to light a fire on your boat for cooking. Fires on boats will get you killed.
Avoid sharks. This goes without saying. While sharks are not out to hunt humans, they usually find out you’re not their prey after biting you. Shark bites could lead to infection and a lot of suffering if that happens. If you find yourself confronting a shark, get out of the water as quick and as calmly as you can, or poke it on the nose or the eyes to discourage it.
Be on the lookout of land. If you notice the water’s color getting lighter, it means the water is getting shallower. If you start seeing more sea birds, it means that land is not that far away. But don’t jump out of the boat yet! Wait until you see the land and you’re really near it.
Stay calm. This is one of the best things that you could do when in a dire situation. Staying calm not only keeps your head clear, but it keeps your body temperature down and you won’t need to drink as much water.
Signal for help.If you don’t have flares, use a mirror or even your smartphone (so don’t be too quick to throw it away when its battery dies at sea) to reflect the sunlight and send a signal flare to a rescue plane or ship.
Most of all, don’t ever give up hope. Sometimes that is all you will have out there. To watch and see these tips applied in dire situations, catch Adrift, starring Shailene Woodley and Sam Clafin, on FOX+ this June.
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