Every year, hundreds of people are lost at sea thanks to such catastrophes as plane crashes, capsized boats and vengeful ex-girlfriends. And while the majority of these unfortunate souls will inevitably be eaten by a shark or drowned by a mermaid, a scant few will be lucky enough to survive by washing up on the shore of some deserted island.
If this happens to you, you almost certainly will ask the question, “How did I end up here?” Is it really possible that in the vast expanses of our world’s great oceans, your plane/boat/girlfriend decided to drop you off right at the shore of some previously uncharted island?
No, probably not. Rather, you were undoubtedly chosen to survive thanks to the benevolence and kindness of some higher form of being. By which, of course, I mean the pod of dolphins that happened upon your unconscious body and swam you to safety.
After you say a prayer to your new dolphin masters, you’re next question will undoubtedly be, “Now what?” Well, you might think finding shelter, looking for food/water or applying sunscreen might be important, BUT YOU’D BE WRONG!
You’re goal shouldn’t be to survive on the island – it should be TO GET OFF! No one wants to spend the rest of his life marooned on an island talking to a beach ball (that’s no way to live).
As such, every waking moment should be spent figuring out how to get off of the island. While your tactics will certainly vary depending on available resources, nearby weather patterns and level of cell phone reception, here are some of the best options for finding your way back to civilization:
Make a “HELP” sign. If a plane flies over Sandtopia (that’s what you will probably name your island), then a simple message on the beach may alert the crew to your presence. Make your sign as big as possible to make sure they can see it. Also, use heavy objects so your sign stays put. If you still have a bunch of dead corpses lying around from the plane crash, then they’re easy enough to twist and bend into letters. Otherwise, plain old rocks will probably serve as a good plan B.
Write a message in a bottle. It’s a long shot, but it’s certainly worth a try. Take that bottle of water you salvaged and dump it out. Then, slide a message into it, seal it tight and huck it into the water. If it is eventually found, you’ll want to be sure that the alerted party will be able to locate you. As such, be sure to include the longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates of your island in the message.
Make a raft. Let’s face it: if you want to get something done, you’ve got to do it yourself. Use driftwood to fashion a makeshift raft. If you have rope, use that to bind the pieces together. Otherwise, use palm leaves or leftover corpses from your sign. If possible, add other helpful features such as a sail, overhang for protection from the sun and a harness and reins that you can attach to that pod of dolphins in case they show up again.
Use technology. Are you reading this article from a deserted island right now? If so, then that means you likely have access to an Internet-capable device. This is extraordinarily helpful, because it means you can directly contact someone for help! Possible avenues for rescue include ordering a boat and having it shipped to your island or, if you’re low on cash, lobbying the government to raise funds and resources to build an oceanic land bridge that connects your island directly to the United States.
Of course, no one tactic is a surefire way to getting off a deserted island. However, by combining several of these tactics, you will almost certainly be back home within a few hours. So don’t get lazy out there on the beach – do at least two of these things before resigning yourself to working on your tan or building sand castles on the beach.
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