Navy SEAL Trick Helps Man Survive Hours at Sea

Posted by: brandtb

Navy SEAL Trick Helps Man Survive Hours at Sea - 03/12/19 01:19 PM

[Excerpts]

A tourist from Germany survived being knocked overboard and left adrift for hours on the open water off the coast of New Zealand last week -- all thanks to his jeans.

Arne Murke was delivering a yacht with his brother from Auckland, New Zealand to Brazil when they ended up sailing through rough seas about 20 miles off Tolaga Bay on March 6.

The 40-foot yacht's mainsheet suddenly came loose amid the rough swells and knocked Murke overboard while he was only wearing a t-shirt and jeans.

"My brother started directly to get me but the swell was like three meters," he told the New Zealand Herald. "He threw a life jacket with a rope overboard. I couldn't reach that, it was already too far away."

- - - -

"I took a deep breath, took out my jeans, made knots at the end of the legs and inflated the jeans; pull it over water and get air inside and then push it under water -- I had like an improvised life vest," he told the news outlet.

As he floated in the sea for the next few hours, Murke said he thought of his 10-month-old daughter, who lives with his girlfriend in the Philippines.

After nearly 4 hours, he was stopped by a rescue helicopter that was searching the area with the New Zealand Coastguard and Royal New Zealand Air Force, according to Sky News.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019...RC=eb_190312.nl
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Navy SEAL Trick Helps Man Survive Hours at Sea - 03/12/19 02:10 PM

Nice!
Posted by: Russ

Re: Navy SEAL Trick Helps Man Survive Hours at Sea - 03/12/19 03:58 PM

Quick thinking. Not really a SEAL exclusive though, we mortals learned that technique during aviation water survival training back in the 70s. A SEAL would have just started swimming the 20 miles to shore, sharks would have cleared him a lane wink
Posted by: clearwater

Re: Navy SEAL Trick Helps Man Survive Hours at Sea - 03/12/19 05:41 PM

I remember bobbing around in the pool using jeans and t shirts to stay afloat in Red Cross swim lessons in the late 60's. Boy Scouts were using that too. I think WW2 taught a lot of lessons about water survival.
Posted by: Taurus

Re: Navy SEAL Trick Helps Man Survive Hours at Sea - 03/12/19 08:49 PM

Nice that this had a happy ending. So many stories like this end the other way sadly.
Posted by: Famdoc

Re: Navy SEAL Trick Helps Man Survive Hours at Sea - 03/12/19 11:05 PM

I remember that trick from reading my dad's WW2 Navy survival manual. Good thing he wasn't wearing a Speedo.
Posted by: haertig

Re: Navy SEAL Trick Helps Man Survive Hours at Sea - 03/13/19 03:14 AM

With the pre-ripped and pre-torn "designer" jeans that kids these days wear, this drown-proofing tactic will soon be lost to civilization, except in the memories of us old folk. I remember learning it in Boy Scouts. I also remember learning to blow air into a tight fitting shirt for flotation help as well, but the jeans technique worked a lot better as I recall.

These days, I would probably drown while trying to get my jeans off though... frown
Posted by: Herman30

Re: Navy SEAL Trick Helps Man Survive Hours at Sea - 03/13/19 04:56 AM

Am I the only one who is wondering why the person left onboard the yacht did not turn around? Or did he just continue with his journey to Brazil?
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Navy SEAL Trick Helps Man Survive Hours at Sea - 03/13/19 09:01 PM

Presumably the person on board radioed an SOS, hence the rescue chopper. How experienced was the person remaining on board? If you don't know what you are doing, maneuvering sailing craft can result in real problems....
Posted by: Treeseeker

Re: Navy SEAL Trick Helps Man Survive Hours at Sea - 03/14/19 12:07 AM

I learned the pants thing in Boy Scouts too. And I learned scuba diving from Navy Seals, and they didn't teach that.

I am also experienced in sailing and under those conditions I would have been wearing a life jacket. I lost hold of a jib once during high winds while sailing alone and it is a scary thing. I was glad I had a life jacket on.
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Navy SEAL Trick Helps Man Survive Hours at Sea - 03/14/19 01:35 AM

Originally Posted By: haertig
These days, I would probably drown while trying to get my jeans off though... frown


Id be dumping out my EDC for Davy Jones before Id be able to make this work.
Posted by: GoatRider

Re: Navy SEAL Trick Helps Man Survive Hours at Sea - 03/14/19 03:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Herman30
Am I the only one who is wondering why the person left onboard the yacht did not turn around? Or did he just continue with his journey to Brazil?

He did turn around, threw a life jacket and rope, but the swimmer was blown away too quickly to get to it. In 9 foot swells it's really easy to lose sight of a swimmer, and single-handed he probably had enough just keeping the boat upright, much less doing a man-overboard drill.