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How to survive when stranded at sea

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Alex Thomson, skipper of Hugo Boss (Barcelonaworldrace.com) lets us in on how to stay both sane and alive when lost on the ocean.

Keep calm

“The first thing is not to panic,” says Thomson. “It’s easy to get demoralised and scared by what’s happening, but statistics show that people who are stranded at sea are usually picked up. You just have to stay alive long enough for it to happen. Try to restrict your movement as much as possible, so as to conserve energy.”

Set goals

“Mentally, it will help if you set achievable goals for yourself every day. It could be staying out of the sun for ‘X’ amount of hours, or fishing for a certain length of time. Also, give yourself ‘anchors’ – these are happy memories that will keep you rooted in a positive frame of mind.”

Ration supplies

“You can survive without food for weeks, but you won’t last long without water, so you have to ration what you’ve got. You can collect rainwater and dew in a tarpaulin or by putting a reef in your sail to make a water-catcher.”

(Image: Getty Images)

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