Self Sufficiency

SURVIVAL SKILLS: Could You Survive The Open Ocean?



Featured | Back view of a man looking at the sea | SURVIVAL SKILLS: Could You Survive The Open Ocean?

You’ll never know when your survival skills are needed and you may be stranded in the ocean. Whether it be a plane crash, a sinking boat, or getting swept out to sea, these survival tips we have for you today will definitely come in handy!

RELATED: Lost At Sea Survival Guide | 7 Tips And Tricks For Ocean Navigation

In this article:

Survival Skills to Keep Yourself Alive in the Open Ocean

Learn to Float

Woman floating in the sea | SURVIVAL SKILLS: Could You Survive The Open Ocean?
This is one of the most important survival skills everyone should know. You may not be lucky enough to have a raft or lifeboat to float through the open ocean.

If you find yourself stranded in the water without some type of flotation device, learn these floating tricks to keep your energy sustained:

Calm Water Back Floating

Step 1: If the water is calm, lie on your back.
Step 2: Allow your body to float, but keep your head above the waterline.
Step 3: Continue to lie like this until rescue comes or you’re within swimming distance of land.

Rough Waterfront Floating

Step 1: If the water is rough, then lie face down in the water allowing your body to float.
Step 2: Continue to float this way until you need air.
Step 3: Lift your head from the water only to take a breath, then bring it back down again, exhaling underwater.

Why Is This Important?

Take note of these interesting survival tips. For starters, you don’t know what is swimming beneath you.

Although sharks do not typically prey on humans, the silhouette of a body treading water or swimming may appear to be a seal or other preys to a shark, which would cause them to attack. In addition, wasting your strength treading water or trying to swim will tire you out much faster.

You need to save your energy by floating. The ocean is a vast, dark place, and it can be quite unnerving.

RELATED: Current Events: How To Survive A Rip Current

Find Water and Food

Remember, you can only survive about three days without water, assuming you’ve saved enough strength. Finding drinkable water is your first priority.

Since water aids in digestion, it’s probably better to not eat anything until you have checked this off your list, although finding fish will aid in both thirst and hunger.

Trap Moisture and Rainwater

If it rains, try to set out as much material as possible to collect it, such as a tarp, and funnel it into containers. Make sure the rainwater has not mixed with ocean saltwater.

Fish Liquids

Fish aren’t only a source of food, but they also contain liquid in their flesh, eyes, and spine. To extract the liquids, cut open the fish, break the vertebra, and suck.


To catch fish, you need access to some type of fishing equipment. You can fashion lines from any rope or string (e.g. shoelaces).

If you have a knife, a piece of aluminum can be used to create shiny hooks that attract fish.


Seaweed is plentiful and has many beneficial nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants. Seaweed you come across may also have hidden gems inside seeking the same nutrients, such as fish, crabs, or shrimp.

Check out more survival tips from Survive Nature!

A couple survived 14 hours in the open ocean by floating on their backs. Watch the video below from ABC News:

The open ocean is the best place to test your survival skills. When the time comes you have no one to rely on, trust yourself and focus on what you should do rather than let your fear take over you.

Follow these survival tips and tricks to keep yourself alive in the open ocean until rescue comes.

Do you know other survival skills to survive in the open ocean? Share them with us in the comments section below!


SURVIVAL SKILLS: Could You Survive The Open Ocean? |

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 11, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

Continue Reading


  1. Michael W. Perry

    July 11, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    Cold matters too. Fall into colder water and you’ll be dead from exposure and hypothermia long before your ability to stay afloat in warm water is gone. Here’s an article on the topic:

    Note especially:

    Maximize your chances of surviving by:

    * Wearing a personal flotation device (PFD)
    * Adopting a survival position
    * Keeping clothing on
    * Getting as much of body out of the water as possible
    * Remaining still and in place UNLESS a floating object, another person, or the shore is nearby
    * Keeping a positive mental outlook (a will to survive really does matter)

    • Greg Zeng

      July 22, 2019 at 2:48 AM

      Adopting a survival position … ?
      Calm emotions? Or what is our body posture: no movement in the water?

  2. Pingback: 15 Dangerous Creatures and How to Avoid Them – Zombie Emergency Response Group (ZERG)

  3. Pingback: 15 Dangerous Creatures and How to Avoid Them | Survival Life

  4. Pingback: Make a DIY Raft Out of Trash Bags | Survival Life

  5. Pingback: SURVIVAL SKILLS: Could You Survive The Open Ocean?

  6. Pingback: Lost In The Woods 101: What To Do When Lost In The Woods [Video]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *