Sea survival books
Last Updated on Sunday, 12 February 2012 05:04 Written by Thursday, 12 January 2012 11:03
Sea survival isn’t just about a manual it’s also about the preparation and planning. Working through the what if scenarios and learning from the experiences of others is hugely powerful. The following list contains a blend of the manual, the academic and the biographical. You probably already recognise that the battle of survival is often won in the mind so I’ve also included some non sailing books for inspiration.
Emergency Navigation, 2nd Edition: Improvised and No-Instrument Methods for the Prudent
A very interesting read. A whole volume dedicated to navigation without the use of technology. Useful for everyday navigation away from the chart plotter.
Emergency Navigation Card
A lot of information on a laminated card, doublesided with reminders on navigation including celestial short hands, predicting rates of travel and simple angles if you’ve left the sextant on board etc. Ideal for the grab bag.
Essentials of Sea Survival Behaviours
Written by two Doctors the tome covers short term immersions, hypothermia, cold water, physiological, life rafts and examples from history from Shackleton to to the modern day. A definite works, hundreds of pages packed with information.
RYA Sea Survival Handbook
An excellent publication covering a range of subjects of on the practicals of sea survival including kit and equipment, such as deploying and using a life-raft, flare use, radio use and helicopter rescue.
Rescue in the Pacific: A True Story of Disaster and Survival in a Force 12 Storm
Written byTony Farrington this book chronicles dozens of cruising sailors hit by a “bomb” storm on a route north from New Zealand, the stories of survival and loss are taken from the experiences of several of the yachts and rescuers include at least one catamaran.
117 days Adrift, Maurice Bailey and Maralyn Bailey
A Pacific Sinking followed by four months in a rubber raft in 1973, 1500 miles of travel. The classic raft survival story.
Last Voyage of the Lucette, Douglas Robertson family
Great read recently updated by the original authors son. The loss of their vessel causing the family to spend a long time in their lifeboat. What comes out from a sailors perspective is the simple yet highly accurate navigation that the author uses to help to give them hope. The survival techniques they develop and the psychological issues they deal are highly informative.
Left for Dead by Nick Ward
Nick was an original crew member on board a yacht in the 1979 Fastnet. This is a real survivor’s tale. Nick covers the lead up to the race, the events that unfolded and the events post the event. What makes this fascinating is the fact that he was left onboard while others took the decision to go into a life raft in horrendous conditions.
The Long Walk, Slavomir Rawicz
Slavomir Rawicz was Polish cavalry officer arrested by the Russians in 1939 and imprisoned in the depths of Siberia on a 25 year sentence which he knew he couldn’t survive. Just getting to the prison took three months. He along with 6 others escaped, this is their story on how they spent the next 9 months escaping Russia on foot. Its a fantastic true story which shows what human being can achieve. The story has now been turned into a motion picture but I’d recommend you read the book – the film will short change you and his story.
The Damage Done: Twelve Years Of Hell In A Bangkok Prison Warren Fellows
A young Australian man makes the mistake of his life and ends up in the infamous “Bangkok Hilton”. One man struggle to survive in conditions that would be alien to all of us.