Saved By The Seat Of Your Pants

afrankelSurvival, Survival Skills

Preferably, if you find yourself in a sinking boat or an emergency water landing situation, you will have a life preserver. But, what do you do if such luxuries are not available? Turn your clothes into a life jacket.

People often make it by the seat of their pants, but I am going to tell you how your pants can actually save your life! It won’t be perfect, but it will work if nothing else is available.

Make your own life preserver from your pants:

  1. Begin by removing your pants. Don’t worry, the fish will not laugh – too loud.
  2. Holding your pants by the cuff, tie the two legs together as close to the cuff as you can.
  3. Gather as much air in your pants as you can and quickly submerge under water to trap the air.
  4. Cinch your belt as tight as you can and tie it off. If you have no belt or cordage, hold it shut with your hands.
  5. Duck under and slip your head through the legs.
  6. Lay back and wait for rescue.

Results of how long before you have to re-inflate your pants will vary by how tightly the fabric was woven. It is said last from 10 – 30 minutes.

If you are skeptical, here’s a story to convince you of this methods effectiveness. From Marine Combat Water Survival MCRP 3-02C:

On Thanksgiving eve, 23 November 1995, the USS America made its way through the Arabian Sea. Twenty-year-old, Marine Lance Corporal (LCpl) Zachary Mayo was unable to sleep and, wanting some fresh air, made his way onto an open-air platform near the aircraft hangar bay, which was three levels below the sleeping quarters. While he was on the platform, the ship veered suddenly, throwing LCpl Mayo through the platform’s protective bars and into the sea, 30 feet below.

Frantic, LCpl Mayo called out in vain to the watchmen on the flight deck, which was 64 feet above him. […]

Using the techniques he had learned during combat water survival training, LCpl Mayo made a flotation device out of his coveralls and tried to relax. Meanwhile, business continued as usual aboard the USS America. […]

After 34 hours at sea, LCpl Mayo was discovered by fisher- men on a Pakistani fishing boat.