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Sea survival could be summed up by the adage “sink or swim” and that’s common sense, right?  Yet in practice, floating not swimming is more likely to save you from drowning in open water.  Read on as we explain the reasons why.

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

Float Rather Than Swim Because:

1. Swimming Strains Your Body

This may go against good sense. But yes, you are most likely to drown by immediately attempting to swim after falling in water. As a result of increased movement, your heart and body will tire out faster which could be perilous under stressful circumstances.

2. Swimming Endangers Your Lungs

Swimming, particularly in panic, is most likely to increase your chances of drowning. Thrashing about in the water may cause liquid to enter your lungs. So even before you sink at the bottom of the sea, you will first die by asphyxiation at the surface.

3. Swimming Decreases Your Buoyancy

Your clothing when dry functions as an air trap by default. These small pockets of gas help make you buoyant in water. But, you decrease your ability to float once wet as a result of swimming.

RELATED: The Real Reasons Why Sharks Attack Humans?

4.Swimming Increases Cold Shock

Cold shock is extreme mental and physical stress caused by exposure to low temperature. It is commonly experienced upon sudden immersion to open water. When you swim, your skin cools faster making the body more susceptible to cold shock ergo decreasing your ability to think clearly under pressure.

Note: It only takes less than 60 seconds for cold shock to take effect once your body gets submerged in water under 15°C.

5. Swimming Attracts Predators

Studies show that sharks often attack humans they misconstrued as smaller sea creatures. These predators interpret uncoordinated movement in the water as that of prey. Keep calm and steady instead of thrashing about once you fell into the sea.

Note: Gavin Naylor, Director of the Florida Program for Shark Research,  says these attacks are generally cases of “mistaken identity.”

Keeping yourself composed under stressful situations though is easier said than done. Nonetheless, these traits are of utmost importance for sea survival. By learning how to float, you also train your mind and body to be responsive during maritime emergencies.

Tips On How to Float On Water :

  • Keep your head in an upright position.
  • Breathe in normal successions.
  • Spread your arms and legs to maintain balance.
  • Paddle your limbs with uniform motion.
  • Relax your mind and your body will follow.
Watch these 8 great tips for survival at sea:



Armed with these basic yet essential sea survival facts, you will be more prepared when disaster strikes. Keep practicing your floating skills as often as you can!

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