Signs of Land

Signs That Land is Nearby When Lost at Sea When there is no land in sight you may find some of the following indicators of land and the direction in which it may be found: Clouds: Cumulus clouds in an otherwise clear sky are likely to have been formed over land. In tropical waters a greenish tint on the underside of clouds, known as lagoon glare, is produced by the reflection of sunlight from the shallow water over coral reefs. Birds: A lone bird is not a reliable indication of land, and after rough weather birds can be blown way off course, but few seabirds sleep on the water or fly more than 100 miles from land. Their direction of flight is usually outwards from land before noon and return in the late afternoon. The continuous sound of bird cries is usually an indication that land is not far distant. Watching the direction of flight of a sea bird can indicate where to find land. Driftwood: Driftwood,...
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Protection from the Elements

Protecting Yourself from the Elements After drowning, the highest danger comes from exposure (cold, wind, heat, sun, salt). Hypothermia Hypothermia is the main cause of death resulting from exposure to the elements. The body heat loss is 25 times greater in the water than in the air. Even in tropical water, a man immersed (without protection) for an extended period of time will die from hypothermia. (In the 80s a dive boat sunk in the warm water of the Sea of Cortez. The only people who survived were the ones who were able to grab their wetsuits. Survivors still suffered from hypothermia). In cold water, dying from hypothermia might be a matter of minutes. In the heat of the moment If you can, grab as much clothing as possible. Polypropylene will protect you even wet. Rain gear will protect you in the raft. In the water Try to get off the water as soon as possible. If you can’t, save your energy. Avoid all movements that will increase...
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Life Boat and Abandoning Ship

Lifeboat Drill & Abandoning Ship LIFEBOAT DRILL Lifeboat drill is carried out on every ship soon after it sails and should become a well-rehearsed procedure. Passengers are instructed in how to fit life-jackets, how they are to proceed to their lifeboat stations, and what to take with them. Sailors in small boats should also devise such a drill and instruct everyone on board. If the signal is given to abandon ship put on warm, preferably wool, clothing including hat and gloves and wrap a towel around your neck. Clothes will not drag you under if you end up in the water and they will help ward off the worst enemy – exposure. Take a torch if you can and grab chocolates and boiled sweets if they are handy. Do NOT push or shout, you may start a panic – an orderly embarkation into lifeboats and on to rafts or dinghies will be faster in the long run and establish a calmer attitude. Don’t inflate...
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Survival at Sea

Survival at Sea Conditions of survival at sea are perhaps worse than those of any other environment and make for some of the most demanding of situations. Planes and boats carry survival equipment, but even getting into a dinghy in a heavy sea can be difficult. Once emergency supplies of food and water run out, sources are not reliable – so any possibility of obtaining food from the sea and collecting drinking water must be exploited to conserve supplies as long as possible. Not all fish is edible and some are even dangerous to handle. Shark dangers are often exaggerated, but should not be ignored. Appropriate action is needed to avoid or deter them. A difficult coast can make even a final landfall hazardous, so heed the advice on lessening the risks. Four-fifths of the Earth’s surface is open water – probably the most frightening of all environments, and the most difficult in which to survive. In cold water the body soon becomes chilled...
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