Imagine a terrorizing situation when your ship is wrecked and you are left in a life raft, adrift on the sea alone or with companions. The first thing which comes in your mind is “How do I get out of the situation?” It is followed by a phase of subsequent shock which can last for weeks.
However, remember, the period after the realization that you are lost at sea though terrifying, is the most crucial phase, as during this period you must start planning on how to get a rescue team to be aware of your present and adopt survival skills for the successive days. Your brain is hardwired to survive critical situation like these. So, be aware of the following tips in case you get trapped in such a catastrophic situation.
The life-saving tips given below can come in handy in those critical situations in the future. Do follow them carefully:
Know about your Life Raft
Make sure you know the functionalities of your life raft. It should be minimally equipped with sufficient life jackets, dry suits, radio-transmitter, signaling mirrors, seasickness medication, fish net, plastic wrap, a pen knife, and a string or a rope.
Stuff your emergency items especially electronic items such as cell phones, radio-transmitter, in resealable plastic bags, preferably bound to the lifeboat, to avoid any kind of exposure to sea water. Remember, they are your life-savior at the moment.
Take sea-sickness pills even if you do not feel sea-sickness. This is because, the stress, and apprehension that the situation demands and jerky movements can induce nausea. Do not let the negative emotions take a psychological toll on you. Engage yourself in activities to avoid the situation.
If your raft is provided with cover, stay under it during the day to prevent heatstroke. In case of open rafts with no covers, wet your clothes at intervals and fan yourself. The evaporated water will bring your body temperature down.
Collect Fresh Water
Collect salty sea-water in a large vessel, and place a small vessel within the larger one. Cover both the container with a plastic and seal the sides. Then place a small weight at the middle of the plastic cover. The water in the large container will evaporate and collect in the plastic wrap and drain inward, and get collected in the smaller vessel. This can be the source of freshwater without any trace of salt.
Try catching fish using a handmade fishing tool- a curved metal tied at the end of a rope, or a net if you are provided with one. Prepare your catches by removing the guts and scales. While fishes are good sources of protein, the eyes and liver can provide you with minerals and curb you nutrition deficiencies.
Under any condition, DO NOT panic. Look out for nearby shores or any kind of ship, helicopter, or fishermen boats and signal by violently waving your hands or bright pieces of clothes or signaling mirrors.
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