(Last Updated On: January 30, 2013)

Being out in the sea is not everyone’s cup of tea but to a few, the openness, being completely surrounded by water, being far away from the maddening crowd is relaxing and brings a pleasant feeling. But what happens when the carrier in which you are sailing decides to topple over right in the middle of the sea?! Yes, the question is how would you survive a sinking ship? Though the very thought may scare you and send shivers down your spine, thankfully, the odds of surviving a sinking ship are reported to be very high. Keep the following important tips in mind. You never know when they may come in handy!
These tips may be extremely helpful especially for those who love scuba diving adventure in sea, canoeing, ocean kayaking and surfing on adventure sea trips.

Prior to setting sail:

  •  Make sure to explore the ship in the early minutes of beginning the journey thereby becoming familiar with all the emergency exits, evacuation maps and the place where the life boats are stored.
  •  Get a basic idea of functioning of the ship and handling of the life boats. Prior knowledge always helps in time of need.
  •  Needless to say, the knowledge of swimming is an added advantage. However, swimming in the seas is far different from swimming in the safety of your swimming pool. Out there, you would need to use your floating skills more than swimming. Floating and staying calm creates less chances of attracting wild man eaters from the sea world.

At the time of sinking:

  • First and foremost, the moment you sense danger and realize the ship is sinking, the most important thing to do is to stay calm. Panicking won’t help anyone and would only worsen the situation. If everyone stays calm, there is a chance that you could make rafts out of the ship’s parts and sail away to safety.
  •  Listen to the Captain’s instructions. Someone should immediately gather all floatation devices, put them on and get the life raft ready. If you are the one responsible for this, act fast without wasting time.
  •  Being prepared is being very wise. Therefore, while planning on a ship journey itself and before even stepping aboard, prepare an evacuation bag complete with the tools you’d need to survive on a raft or an island in case of a possible ship malfunction. Your kit should have the following basic items:
  1.  A compass to help you get an idea of which direction you are heading.
  2.  A flashlight.
  3.  Waterproof matches.
  4.  Knife, preferably a Swiss army knife which has lots of different gadgets.
  5.  Drinking water
  6.  Mirror for signaling out to far away ships, by reflecting the sun’s rays.
  7.  A first aid kit.
  8.  Good supply of energy food.
  • A vital indication that your ship may be in deep trouble is when it doesn’t sway as much as it should. In other words, if the ship seems to be rolling less than it should, it could be filling up with water. The weight of the water is preventing your boat from swaying with the waves, time to abandon ship!
  • While in a life boat too, there are some tips to follow in order to avoid chaos and make it to the shore safely:
  • Continue to keep your cool and stay calm.
  • The sun would be harsh, so protect your skin from the sun.
  • Don’t gulp down all the water you have with you, use it sparingly. It has to last till you reach the shore!
  • Whenever it rains use whatever you can to collect and store the water.
  • Well, worse comes to worse, you would end up without a lifeboat. In this case, you may have to cling on to water support you can lay your hands on to keep afloat. Swimming the entire stretch is a hard option.
  • The chillness in the water may cause hypothermia, making you drowsy and wanting to fall asleep. Do all you can to stay awake, as falling asleep could mean risk of drowning!

Most importantly, stay positive and don’t lose hope! Hope gives you strength to face even the toughest of situations. Modify the famous quote a little, “When the going gets tough, the tough get tougher!”

Besides these tips, it’s also good to understand how to survive an earthquake. There are several instances when ships sink due to earthquakes in the sea bed. A proper understanding on how to survive various natural calamities will help you tide over crisis situations easily. Most importantly, stay positive and don’t lose hope! Hope gives you strength to face even the toughest of situations. Modify the famous quote a little, “When the going gets tough, the tough get tougher!”