We can be careful people, but we cannot control every situation.  People around us make mistakes that effect our well being and you never know when this can happen.

Of course there are other things at play in this world; natural, Godly forces, such as weather, that mankind has absolutely no control over…

The idea behind this article is to get the wheels turning in your head, to better prepare you should a sudden and rapidly escalating situation manifest…

Let’s paint out a scenario or two, let’s say we’re out fishing for something to eat in a small boat or raft, a storm suddenly develops, next thing we know, we’re caught in the middle of three to six foot waves all around us, then in a period of two seconds, we find ourselves swimming in the water…

Whether or not you know how to swim-hopefully you can swim-you’re going to want to find something to help hold you afloat until you can make it to shore…

Hopefully, you aren’t injured at this point, if you are however, your adrenaline is going to be kicking in.

People can do amazing things running on their adrenaline levels alone, even when severely injured.  Take advantage of this adrenaline rush quickly and prepare for a long period of time in the water…

Here are some visuals of the objects you may see surrounding you and how you can rapidly utilize them…

First and foremost, if you’ve been capsized in in a small boat, hopefully during the process of the boat flipping over, the boat has captured some air underneath of it; if so, this will be a good first choice to keep you afloat.  If you weren’t so lucky to get air caught underneath the boat, there’s really no way to pick the boat up and capture air inside the boat in deep water and you may not be able to find out if there IS air trapped underneath.  Whether or not the boat is sinking with no captured air will depend on the density of the boat’s materials, the amount of foam (if any) inside the boat’s construction, the amount of metal attached to the boat (batteries, motors, etc)…it may or may not sink…

Best bet is to count on that boat as on it’s way down and grab other things that may work, THEN swim back to the boat with those things.  Some of the things you may find floating around you:

Life jackets/vests– Of course this is the obvious one.  Life jackets and vests are usually bright colored so they are easy to spot.  Grab them!  Grab as many as you can.  Life jackets have been around a long time and were designed for this very situation.  Put one on and get the extras you gather up on anyone else’s body that may be around you.

Plastic boxes and bags– You may see tackle and gear boxes floating around you.  Utilize them! Look for cordage (boat rope, fishing line, any string) and tie these boxes together.  They may slowly leak and fill up, but you can periodically open them up and dump the water out of them, in rotation, keeping this system going if you have to.   Think signalling devices, especially go for the box with these inside…as well as food, water…

The gas tank– Perhaps you’ve just gotten into a boating accident with other boat/s involved, or maybe your outboard fishing vessel has been capsized.  All motor boats have at least one gas tank, some plastic, some made of metal.  These tanks will float well with a considerable amount of buoyancy if the openings can be plugged.  A gas tank seen floating sixty feet away from your area may be just what you need; get to it, empty the fuel from it and plug the hose/valve, or hold your finger over it if you have to.

Bags– It is common for people these days to take large dry bags/sacks or ziplock bags with them on hikes, canoe trips, fishing trips or any type of boating event.  These bags will hold air without leakage if they haven’t been punctured, so utilize them if you see them nearby.

Trousers or pants– You’re probably not going to want to take off your pants because they give your lower body a little protection, warmth, and an overall feeling of security.  On the other hand, they could also be waterlogged and weighing you down; all depends on what you’re wearing in this event.  If you have to, you can take them off and fill them with air for use as a floation device.  Before you try getting air into them, first tie a knot a the bottom of each pant leg, now you can grab the waist area with both hands and swoop the pants in the air, in turn catching as much air as you can in one giant swift gulp, then quickly gather and close the waist area and tie it closed, or hold it closed with your hands if you haven’t been so fortunate to find any string or cordage.  Trousers/pants will make for a nice flotation device, but you’ll need to every now and then soak them, they will hold air better if kept wet.  You may even be able to use your jacket or shirt in the same way as a flotation device.

Logs– If you’ve got absolutely no gear and equipment you can salvage from a boat wreck, or a sudden slide off the edge of a cliff into the river or lake during your hiking trip, get to looking around for driftwood of any kind.  Boats are made from wood because wood has a natural buoyancy and wood will hold a certain amount of weight at the surface, even if waterlogged.  You may be fortunate enough to find a couple of logs, some cordage/string/clothing, and tie up yourself a chair raft as shown here…

emergency flotation rescue logs

Hopefully this article has maybe opened your eyes to some quick response possibilities for this specific type of emergency situation.  If you’ve got any experiences of your own, or maybe have heard of other things that have been done to save lives, in any kind of catastrophe, maybe you’ve survived a Tsunami or a great flood.  Let us hear about it in the comments and thank you for sharing-

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