Top 10 Ways to Survive on a Boat
There has been a time, in all of our lives, where at some point or the other, we have felt ‘lost’. It’s a feeling where you can almost sense the walls closing in on you, and you realize that there are only two options ahead of you: survive or perish. As little children, we’ve probably got separated from elders on a crowded bus or train, or as students, we’ve all felt ‘lost’ when we don’t have the answer to a particular question asked in the exam. We look around us, for help, or probably even relief, hoping that others are stuck on that too. But what a fright it gives us, to see others pondering over and busy writing away into their answer sheets. Finally done with studies, when we step into the job market, we get ‘lost’ in a crowd of well-educated, skilled and gifted people, who are also equally competitive. In your group circle, as you hear each friend boast about his or her job, and pay package, while you are still on the lookout for recruiters, there sets in again, the feeling of being ‘lost’. You could even be lost in a marriage party, having no one to hang around with, or you could be ‘lost’ at road, when you swerved on the wrong turn. You could be lost in a dense forest, where you find no other man, or you could even be lost, at a mall, surrounded by thousands of people. But all of these, are situations from where you could bail yourself out. You know there are solutions you could follow. But what if you are lost on a boat? How would you survive that?
10. Prevention is better than cure
When you set out on a voyage into the sea, you need to be aware that the sea could be calm one second, and rough, at another second. Your boat may sail smoothly, and glide peacefully on the water, or it could even be tossed around like popcorn. Sailing at sea has always comes with its own set of trials and tribulations. So before setting sail, you need to have a proper plan regarding how long you will be at sea, and pack along enough food and water supplies for those days. You could pack food items which you know will not perish easily, like dry fruits, biscuits, energy bars, energy drinks, chocolates, and maybe even cookies or chips. These should be enough for you to munch on, while lost at sea.
9. Maintaining a proper balance
The boat should be equally aligned with the water level. Loading all your goods onto one side of the boat may prove to be dangerous, as the boat may move ahead, while continuously being tilted at one side. And just one strong gust of wind, will be enough to break the boat into pieces, and completely over-turn it.
8. Tyre, grab them
Even the launches and ferries, operating in the Arabian Sea, going to and from the Elephanta Islands and Gateway of India, have tyres tightly strung all around their outer body. This is done, so as to prevent the boat from capsizing and drowning.
Deep into the sea, the tides come in high and quick, and they could be lashing your boat with water going up several metres. The continuous lashing of the water could make you wet, and wearing wet clothes, in the chilly breeze of the sea, might give you the sniffles, or cold. Here come in handy, the windcheaters, which can be donned right from the time you have entered the deep waters, and the sea starts getting rougher. Wear this, it wont make you look uber cool but you wont regret it if you get lost. Make it your at sea attire.
6. First Aid Box
Having been for many days in the sea, in the cold wind, there are chances you might catch a cold, or just be plain sea sick. You could even throw up. To tackle the problems of sea sickness, headaches, nausea, and fatigue, you will need a well stacked up first aid box. This first aid box could have medicines for cold, tiredness, and even bandages, and tapes for cuts and bruises.
You may think you are lost at sea, with no sign of any human activity close to you. However, there may be a chance that there is a small, little island located very close to where you boat has got ‘lost’. But who could tell you of this island where you could halt for some time before starting off again? Here is when the binoculars will guide you, to your little siesta stop, bang in the middle of the vast, deep ocean, under the clear, blue sky. Binoculars could even help you to locate a plane, or a helicopter hovering somewhere close to you, and give you a chance to attract its attention, so that you could be rescued.
4 Check for the hole!
Check the boat for cracks, holes, breakages: Before starting off on a mission, it is imperative that you check the mission vessel, in this case, the boat, for any sort of damage like cracks in the body, or holes at the base of the boat, or even breakages. Check if all the nuts and bolts, are tight, and are not about to come lose, and also that they are rust-proof, or rust-free. Having a well maintained boat, will certainly help a long way, in guaranteeing your safe return to the shore.
We are so used to driving around town, while always keeping an eye out for traffic signals, for footpaths, for pedestrians, for lanes with one-way traffic, etc. While walking around the city, we have maps for assistance, or the names of the road, the locality, or even a popular landmark, which lets us know we have arrived at the correct location. But, while at sea, we have nothing to guide our glide. There are no sign boards, no traffic signals, no maps, no railways station, no bus-stands, and even not the locals, to ask around for directions. What could help us find out the direction at this point? It is nothing but the good old, humble compass, which was used by many an accomplished sailors, right from Napolean to Columbus, to even the Somalian pirates. This compass helps us to navigate in the sea waters, and acts like a guiding star.
2. Who Am I!
In the unfortunate event, that despite all your efforts to keep the boat sailing through the choppy waters, the boat breaks, and drowns, and you are only left hanging onto your dear life, on a wooden plank. What do you do? It is always advisable to write all necessary information about yourself, like name, address, contact details of family members, your age and nationality, and anything else of importance, on a piece of paper, and conceal it in an airtight plastic bag which you could pin onto your shirt or trouser. Slip one paper in a bottle and throw it over. You never know, someone may find you. Such information would be of immense help to the authorities, in case you pass out, or become unconscious, or even in the event of your death.
1. Go the Titanic way
Remember the movie, Titanic? When all else fails, and you have no energy, and nothing with you to attract help from authorities, you could very well ‘whistle’ your way to safety, a la Kate Winslet, who blew a whistle as loudly as she could, and was thus helped by the rescuers.
These were ten sure-shot ways to help you sail through to safety, if you ever find yourself, lost at sea.