Although most people travel by ship or airplane without getting into an accident, disaster can happen at any time. If a ship or airplane crashes at sea, you and the other passengers may be lucky enough to be near an uninhabited island. While you may not bring any equipment with you, there's still a chance of survival just from what's available on the island. By learning survival techniques on an uninhabited island, you can survive and stay healthy while waiting to be rescued.
Part 1 of 3: Reaching the Island
Step 1. Find another passenger
If your ship or plane crashes at sea, the first thing to do is to find survivors. There may be other passengers who are injured and need help. Try to collect as many survivors as possible and help them reach the shore.
- Hanging out with other people can make the situation more psychologically bearable.
- Living with other people means you don't have to do all the work yourself.
- Other survivors may have skills or knowledge that could be useful for island survival.
Step 2. Collect any items you find
Before you head to the beach, it's a good idea to collect whatever items or supplies you have around you. There may be useful items floating in the water that can help you survive while waiting to be rescued. Try to find useful items before heading to the beach.
- Plastic sheets can be used to distill water.
- Clothes or fabrics can be dried and worn later.
- Bring bottled water or in another container that can be drunk on the island.
- You can still survive on an island, even if you have nothing.
- Take whatever you can carry. Even items you would normally consider trash can come in handy.
Step 3. Swim towards the beach
Once you've gathered the survivors and brought any potentially usable items, it's time to swim ashore. Once you arrive on the island, start assessing the situation and prepare to survive.
- You can wade through the water by swinging your arms outward to your sides, then pulling them back toward your chest. At the same time, lift one leg toward your body and kick it down with the other leg. By alternately lifting your leg and kicking, you can stay afloat.
- Pay attention if there is a strong current. Avoid swimming against strong currents as you will continue to be swept out to sea.
- Be careful when approaching the island. Watch for rocks or rocky shores before swimming towards shore.
- You can float on the water on your back and fill your lungs with air. Use your hands and feet to steer the direction when you float.
- Floats as a rescue measure, with the face facing the water. Relax and hold your breath as you float on the surface of the water. When you need to breathe, lift your head and inhale.
Step 4. Divide tasks
If you make it to the island with the other survivors, find out about each other's skills. If they have a particular skill set, give them a task that fits their skill set. Even if no one has special skills, the division of labor can make it easier for everyone.
- For example, if there is a doctor, he or she can start treating injuries.
- Even without a special skill, you can share simple tasks. For example, one person could be in charge of starting a fire while another was looking for water.
- If you are alone and still able, start looking for water first before doing anything else.
Part 2 of 3: Taking Immediate Action
Step 1. Find drinking water
The first thing you should do is find a source of drinkable water. Water is very important to stay healthy and survive. Dehydration can kill very quickly, usually in less than three days. Therefore, you need to find as soon as possible safe water to drink. Take note of the following suggestions when trying to find drinking water on an island:
- Rivers can usually be a source of fresh water that can be drunk. Keep in mind that even if it's not salty, river water may still contain parasites or other bacteria.
- It is better to boil the water before drinking it.
- Don't drink sea water. Sea water can cause dehydration and endanger health.
- If fresh water is not available, you will need to build a water purifier.
- You can drink rainwater or dew collected from the leaves.
- If you find a plant, chances are there is a water source nearby. Try to find a pond or dig in the ground to find a water source.
- Some types of vines can be cut for water. Most vines that store water tend to be large and woody. Cut the vine and observe the water. If it looks cloudy and colored, don't drink it.
- Many foods contain water. If you find coconut or fruit, you can eat and get water.
Step 2. Create a shelter
Shelter is important to keep you safe and protected from rain and heat. Shelter can also be a place to rest while you think about your next move. There are many types of shelters that can be created. However, the types of materials that could be found on the island limited what kind of shelters could be made. For example, you might be able to create a simple backrest shelter, using the following steps:
- Look for wood or branches that are long and sturdy. The length of the wood should be more than your height.
- Lean this wood on a tree. This wood will support the roof of the shelter, so adjust the angle according to your height.
- Place smaller logs or branches on top of the main wood. Place these small logs across the main wood and form a 45 degree angle.
- Cover these woods with twigs and leaves to make walls.
- You can also place leaves or other plants on the floor to make a bed.
Step 3. Create a fire
Once you've found water and built a shelter, it's time to keep yourself warm. Fires can be made without the use of special equipment. All you need are some natural ingredients and fire-making techniques. There are several techniques you can use to start a fire. For example, see these steps to be able to start a fire without using tools:
- Gather small pieces of wood, combustible material, or twigs and arrange them in a tipi (Indian tent) shape.
- Look for flammable materials. Try to use dry grass, sap, or bark, or some other dry material that fires easily eat.
- Find a long softwood. Ideally look for wood that already has a groove in the middle. However, you can also make grooves in the wood using a sharp stone.
- Find a hardwood and collect flammable materials.
- Place the materials in the grooves of the wood. Rub the hardwood in the groove up and down quickly to create friction.
- Eventually the combustible material will ignite. Place the burnt material under the tip to light the fire.
- Add a few larger pieces of wood to raise the fire.
Step 4. Create a rescue sign
If you hope to be rescued, it's a good idea to make a sign that rescue teams can see. The markings you make can help rescue teams find the location and you will be able to return home sooner than no sign. You might want to try some of these rescue signs to make your position more visible:
- Burning wet or damp wood to create a lot of smoke.
- Piled up large stones on the beach. Write S. O. S. or HELP with the stones.
- You can make writing by drawing in the sand using large twigs.
- If you change locations, use the rock to draw arrows on the ground pointing towards the new location.
Step 5. Perform first aid
You may not have the equipment, but you can still provide first aid if needed. You must treat the injury as best you can to avoid the condition getting worse or life threatening. Check out some basic first aid techniques you can use if you're stranded on an uninhabited island.
- For open wounds, close the wound tightly. You can use cloth as a pad. Lie down and lift the wound so that it is higher than your heart.
- If you are in shock, lie down, stay calm, and keep warm.
- If you have hypothermia, avoid exposure to wind, rain, or snow. Remove wet clothes, and replace with dry clothes if available. Warm up by drinking warm water and sitting by the fire.
Step 6. Stay focused on survival
Even if you're doing things to survive, keep your mind focused, calm, and positive. Otherwise, survival will become more difficult and dangerous. Try to focus your thoughts and attitudes on survival so you can live it more easily.
- Be realistic about your situation. If there is a serious problem, accept it and solve it.
- Try to stay positive. Even when you're in a difficult situation, positive thinking can help you stay motivated and think of solutions.
- Always be aware that your life is in danger. You must not be careless and must be careful to survive.
- Panic can make you act unreasonable and dangerous. Always avoid falling into fear or feeling panicked.
Part 3 of 3: Survive Until Saved
Step 1. Find food
Once you have met the basic needs for survival, focus on other important aspects. Finding, obtaining and preparing food is one of the important keys to survival. While you can survive without eating, eating can help you maintain your energy and increase your chances of survival. When looking for food, always keep these tips in mind:
- There may be fish you can eat in the shallow waters around the island.
- Make a simple spear out of spiky wood to spear fish.
- There may be edible fruit around the island. Try to find bananas or coconuts to eat.
- You can usually eat the seaweed that grows nearby. Make sure you take the seaweed that grows in the pool by the beach. Seaweed that washes ashore may not be safe to eat.
- You should cook whatever food you find to reduce the risk of eating parasites and catching disease.
- If you're not sure if a food contains poison, rub it on your hands. If your hands don't get rash or react, try rubbing them on your lips. If you don't feel anything, try putting it in your mouth for a few minutes before throwing it away. If you don't feel sick, try to eat it.
- Check out these instructions to see how to test if a plant is poisonous or not.
Step 2. Prepare the meat
If you do manage to hunt an animal, treat it properly before eating it. Although meat is a good source of nutrition, it can also carry disease and is inedible if not properly prepared. Check out some basic ways of processing game for food:
- Skin the game. Be sure to remove all the skin before proceeding.
- Remove the entire contents of the stomach. Carefully remove the animal's internal organs from the thoracic and abdominal cavities. Be especially careful when removing the contents of the stomach, intestines, and bladder, because it can be dangerous to health if torn.
- You can pick up and eat the heart and liver.
- You can grill or boil the meat, after cleaning and processing.
Step 3. Preserve the processed meat
Once you get the meat, eat it immediately or preserve it. Meat can spoil quickly if left untreated, so preserve it if necessary. Check out some basic ways to preserve meat that you can learn here:
- By smoking, the meat can last up to several weeks. You will need a blanket or sheet to trap the smoke. Hang the meat on a stick over the fire, and let it smoke for two days.
- You can dry the meat by cutting it into thin strips and drying it in the sun. Make sure the meat is not covered with animals or insects while drying. The meat must be completely dry and crispy before eating.
- If you are stranded on a snowy or low-temperature island, the meat can be frozen. Even if the meat has been frozen, you should still cook it before eating it.
Step 4. Think of ways to defend yourself
There may be wild animals on the island where you are stranded. Therefore, you need to think about how to defend yourself. Avoiding conflict is the best way. However, you may be able to craft some items to defend yourself.
- Make a simple spear with sharpened wood for self-defense.
- Stay away from deep waters to avoid being attacked by sharks.
- Avoid going into the cave because there may be an animal nest there.
- Stay away from any snakes or insects you come across, as they can be poisonous.
Step 5. Waiting for help
Often the best course of action is to not move and wait for help to arrive. Once you've prepared your shelter, make a rescue sign and focus on surviving. By staying in the same place you can reduce the risk of traveling to a dangerous place on an unknown island and increase the chances of your location being found by rescue teams.
- Try to stay where you made your shelter.
- Moving around the island can increase the risk of getting lost or getting injured.
- If you're constantly on the move, you may be harder to find.
Step 6. Stay calm and find a way to pass the time
Even though you may be busy trying to survive on the island, you need to rest and relax. Rest can make you more refreshed and ready to do the next activity. Find ways to spend your free time so that you stay positive and make survival a little easier than the other way around.
- If you feel alone, try singing, dancing, or fantasizing.
- Fatigue can make you less careful. You need to stay alert and focused as much as possible.
- You may feel afraid. But don't let fear keep you from doing something to survive.
- Think about future plans. Ask yourself what condition could be improved and how to do it.
Step 7. Consider building a raft
If the island is too difficult to survive, maybe you can build a raft and try to leave the island. You can also try to leave the island if you think the rescue team thinks you are unlikely to survive. However, sailing on a raft is very dangerous and should only be done as a last resort. Try the following steps to make a simple raft, which you can use to save yourself, if needed.
- Find some large logs to frame the raft.
- Look for some smaller logs as reinforcement and the base of the raft.
- If possible, make a few small nicks in the truss wood to hold the smaller pieces of wood together.
- Tie a few smaller sticks on top of the larger logs with vines.
- Make sure you loop the vines around each log before tying it together.
- Once the raft is complete, test it in shallow water before taking it out to sea.
- Bring some logs and vines in reserve for repairs.
- Getting a source of drinking water is important for your safety.
- Make some kind of sign for the rescue team to pay attention to.
- Avoid any injuries or cuts. Even a small wound can become infected and deadly.
- Be careful of any wild animals that may be on the island.
- Don't drink seawater, no matter how thirsty you are.
- Don't be too negative. This will reduce your chances of survival.