Survival at Sea
During the 20th century, the two longest cases of survival at sea were Maurice and Maralyn Bailey and Poon Lim. Poon Lim was a Chinese sailor who survived alone in a raft for 133 days in the South Atlantic from November 23, 1942 to April 5, 1943. He initially kept himself alive by drinking the water and eating the food on the raft, but later resorted to catching rainwater in a canvas life jacket covering and fishing. Maurice and Maralyn Bailey survived for 117 days adrift in an inflatable raft in the Pacific Ocean from March 4, 1973 to June 30, 1973. To survive they collected rainwater and when their food supplies ran out, they began eating sea creatures such as turtles, seabirds and fish caught by hand or with safety pins fashioned into hooks.
9 items to include in your lifeboat should be:
- A 406 megaherz emergency position indicating radio beacon when activated manually or immersed in water will send out a digital distress message encoded with the user’s identity and GPS location.
- A flare gun
- A short spear gun
- Make sure to have one fishing rod for each person in your boat, fishing line and enough hooks for each person.
- The greatest invention that landlubbers know nothing about is a solar still to purify sea water. Models such as the Aquamate weigh only a pound and produce more than a pint of fresh water each day.
- Whether you need to dive for fish or tie yourself to your raft during a storm, you will need at least a hundred foot long coil of strong thin rope. You can use rope to hang fish to dry in the sun.
- Bring enough clothing, a life vest and a tarp to cover each person in your boat because you’ll have to keep the sun off your skin to avoid dehydration and fight off heatstroke. If it rains during the day, you can use your tarp to capture rainwater and funnel it into a container.
- Because the capture and storage of fresh rain water and fish will be the most important parts of your survival, you will need to have a large plastic water container and another container to store your freshly caught fish.
- In order to be able to eat your fish, you will need some kind of small spark-ignited stove that is powered by gas flame as well as several gas canisters.