Perhaps the most difficult survival situation to be in is sea survival. Short- or long-term survival depends upon rations and equipment available and your ingenuity. You must be resourceful to survive. Water covers about 75 percent of the earth's surface, with about 70 percent being oceans and seas. You can assume that you will sometime cross vast expanses of water. There is always the chance that the plane or ship you are on will become crippled by such hazards as storms, collision, fire or war.
THE OPEN SEA
As a survivor on the open sea, you will face waves and wind. You may also face extreme heat or cold. To keep these environmental hazards from becoming serious problems, take precautionary measures as soon as possible. Use the available resources to protect yourself from the elements and from heat or extreme cold and humidity. Protecting yourself from the elements meets only one of your basic needs. You must also be able to obtain water and food. Satisfying these three basic needs will help prevent serious physical and psychological problems. However, you must know how to treat health problems that may result from your situation.
Your survival at sea depends upon —
* Your knowledge of and ability to use the available survival equipment.
* Your special skills and ability to apply them to cope with the hazards you face.
* Your will to live.
When you board a ship or aircraft, find out what survival equipment is on board, where it is stowed and what it contains. For instance, how many life preservers and lifeboats or rafts are on board? Where are they located? What type of survival equipment do they have? How much food, water and medicine do they contain? How many people are they designed to support? If you are responsible for other personnel on board, make sure you know where they are and they know where you are.