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Lighthouse 05-16-2007 06:55 PM


"He quickly discovered two things. One was that drinking small quantities of sea water would help maintain the involuntary sailor. This came as quite a surprise to many, and is still controversial. He based his findings on studies surrounding the safe intake of salt, and found that a pint and a half of sea water (c. 1 litre) would enhance survival, whilst causing little permanent damage to the kidneys. He was careful to point out that this level of consumption was still dangerous, if it formed the only fluid intake for more than a few days, and at most a week.

He then went on to study the water content of marine life, especially fish. He found that fresh fish contained between 50% and 80% usable water, which was salt-free. This would enable one to survive healthily for much longer periods, provided six or seven pounds (about 3 kilos) of fish could be caught, and the water extracted. Now all he had to do was ensure that the castaway could get sufficient protein, amino acids and vitamins. His studies proved that eating a mixture of fish and plankton would give a fairly balanced diet, even including ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), so vital to prevent the sailor's dread, scurvy.

He finished his studies by testing various methods of catching fish, and concluded that small nets and lines, coupled with fine mesh for plankton, would enable a sailor to keep a healthy, balanced diet, even on the high seas."


He set himself adrift to personally run his experiment.

The article is a must read for all cruisers - and, don't forget fishing gear if you have to deploy the liferaft.


Harbor_Pilot 05-16-2007 09:24 PM


If that does not go against what we were taught to believe. Most Interesting. It is amazing how some people in history have risk their own lives to prove a theory, medicine, or machine, they believe in.

I skimmed the article. I have to reread it, considering how to extract non-saline water from the internal parts of fish.

Just a thought: Have the life raft and the ditch bag each pre-packed with basic fishing tackle, and some fresh water. If one must use either, one may not have time to, or be able to pack for an extended side journey.


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