Taken and left at sea (2023)

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Michael the Barbarian

From The New York Times, I'm Michael Barbara. This is the Journal.


A few weeks ago, my colleague, the head of the Brussels office, Matina Stevis-Gridneff, received a tip which, if true, would prove that a major European government is carrying out an illegal plan to deliberately endanger the lives of citizens as young as six months old. withstand the game. . old. Today's story of how Matina proved this tip to be true.

It's Wednesday, June 7.

Matina, this story begins for you with a hint. Tell us about this tip.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

It's true, Michael. I'm in the office in Brussels, at my desk. I'm getting this e-mail from a man I've never heard of. And he says he shot a very revealing video on the Greek island of Lesbos, capturing Greek authorities rounding up migrants and successfully throwing them into a lifeboat in the middle of the Aegean Sea.

In practice, this means that these people have no access to the national asylum system. They never actually existed as far as formalities are concerned. And if what this whistleblower claims to have captured on video is true, it would be a flagrant violation of local and European Union law, as well as international law.

Michael the Barbarian

So this tipster made a rather unusual claim that seems explosive.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

It sounds explosive, but I instinctively hesitate to believe him right away. The reason is that we have already heard about this alleged practice from the Greek authorities in the past. Several press organizations have tried to prove this to be the case. But there was no evidence until then.

So I'm also partially preparing -

Michael the Barbarian

Which may not be true.

Matina Stevis Gridneff


Michael the Barbarian

Tell us what you see after watching this video.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

The film is over three hours long in total, but I'll get to the relevant parts quickly. And I immediately realize that it was apparently taken around noon, just like the guy who filmed it said. I also recognize the landscape. I've been to Lesbos myself. I worked there. And it looks familiar.

And you see this unmarked white van, no windows, no license plates, no nothing, driving down a narrow dirt road towards the coast. Is for. And three men who are not in uniform, wearing only dark clothes and balaclavas, their faces are not visible, they open the back of the van.

And then I see 12 people get out of the van one by one. And some of them, surprisingly, are clearly young children. There is even a month old baby and many women. There are only two men in this group. So all these things really make me stand out.

Now, three masked men escort the group down the road to this picturesque cove with a wooden jetty, where a larger inflatable speedboat awaits them. I noticed that one by one the people who are there now are distinctly African and you can see that some of the women have headscarves covered. They are placed on the speedboat one by one.

And the boat turns around and enters the sea at high speed. He's approaching a Greek Coast Guard vessel in two minutes. And at this point, I'm starting to get pretty scared because it's starting to clearly indicate that these masked men are working with the Greek Coast Guard.

Michael the Barbarian

Normal. Here is the Greek government suddenly stepping into this movie.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

Exactly. Status markers are visible for the first time in the video.

And so the speedboat passes a Coast Guard ship parked in the sea. And the camera zooms in. It's a little blurry, but you can clearly see people being escorted to the Coast Guard ship, one by one. And you see a Coast Guard ship sailing further off the coast of Lesbos.

Michael the Barbarian

So what you saw at that moment was masked men taking these 12 people out of a van without any signs or markings, placing them one by one on a speedboat, and then that boat met a Greek government ship that took these 12 people. And all this is happening in the middle of the city.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

And in broad daylight. At one point, a coastguard boat stops with 12 migrants. And soon you see something like a black inflatable life raft being dropped. The video is blurry. The distance is quite large. But you can still see the lifeboat drifting behind the Coast Guard boat. A little later, the boat leaves the lifeboat adrift, turns around and begins to cross the bay back to Lesbos.

Michael the Barbarian

What just happened here?

Matina Stevis Gridneff

So while I don't see 12 migrants on this inflatable lifeboat, I believe they are on this lifeboat and stranded in the middle of the Aegean Sea. And indeed, that belief was quickly reinforced because after about an hour and a half of the film, I see two Turkish Coast Guard vessels approaching a lifeboat in what appears to be a rescue operation.

The lifeboat drifted halfway between the Greek island of Lesbos and the Turkish coast. Thus, it becomes clear that the lifeboat was left by the Greek Coast Guard in the drifting territorial waters of Turkey.

(Video) Turned Away and Left at Sea

Michael the Barbarian

Normal. Not by accident, but in this deliberate effort, as you said, as this informant suggested to you, to prevent these migrants from entering the Greek immigration system.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

Exactly. And of course Türkiye is not a member of the European Union. So now these migrants are not only outside Greece. They are also located outside the territory of the EU.

Michael the Barbarian

What do you think after watching this rather disturbing video?

Matina Stevis Gridneff

Well, Michael, I think the informant was right. What he said he got on the tape is on the tape. But we will have to do a lot of work to verify this. And time is of the essence because this movie is only two days old. And we want to act fast

We believe that these people, 12 migrants, must still be somewhere in Turkey. And so we get a reporter we are working with in Turkey to confirm that they are being held in a deportation center, a type of prison where migrants are held before being deported in the coastal city of Izmir.

I'm flying to Izmir to meet them and interview them. [BACKGROUND CHAT ON VIDEO]

Michael the Barbarian

And what do you find when you arrive at this prison?

Matina Stevis Gridneff

When I see them, I have no doubt that they are the same people I saw in the film.

Michael the Barbarian


Matina Stevis Gridneff

The composition of the group, their physical characteristics, the presence of small children and an infant correspond to the film. But honestly, some of them were still wearing the same clothes more than a week later. I remember being particularly impressed by a young woman wearing a turquoise hijab and a black-and-white checkered shirt.

And she really stood out in the movie. And here she was, right in front of me in this detention center in Turkey.

archival recording (stevis-gridneff matina)

First, we really appreciate your time. You can just explain to them that we have this video showing what happened to them.

Michael the Barbarian

What story are these people telling?

archival recording (stevis-gridneff matina)

Is everyone together, friends or family together?

Matina Stevis Gridneff

So in order to interview them, we had to revise and translate.

archival recording 1

Yes. There are a total of nine people in this room.

archival recording (stevis-gridneff matina)


archival recording 1

The first person, a lady in a turquoise hijab now holding her face. Her name is Sulejka. She is the mother of seven such children.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

One of the first things we were able to determine was that not all of them were family members.

archival recording 2


Matina Stevis Gridneff

But they all come from the same part of the world. They come from the Horn of Africa. There is an Ethiopian, an Eritrean and two mothers with children. And they come from Somalia.

archival recording 1

They were told that they could not return to Somalia due to the security situation in their country.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

And in fact, their stories are the stories of this region and how much security has collapsed in recent years.

archival recording 3


Matina Stevis Gridneff

For example, the youngest mother, Nayeema, comes from the southern part of Somalia, which is completely controlled by the terrorist group Al-Shabaab. She flees Somalia with her six-month-old baby Awala.

Every story we hear relates in some way to the difficulties these people face in their homeland and to the brutal and complicated ways of migrating to Europe.

Michael the Barbarian

And what did those migrants tell you about how they all ended up in that unmarked white van?

(Video) Abandoned On a Dive Trip and Lost Forever | Last Moments

archival recording (stevis-gridneff matina)

So let's start by discussing what happened last week. In the first place -

Matina Stevis Gridneff

They say they reached the Greek island of Lesbos after paying smugglers to arrive there in two separate groups. They didn't meet until they were locked in the back of the van.

archival recording 1

It is said that they sailed to Greece, they arrived on the island at dusk, it was already night.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

And when we arrived in Lesbos, it was midnight, it was dark.

archival recording 1

So they took refuge that night in the forest. And as a result, when they took refuge in this forest, men in masks came across them.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

They took refuge in the bushes near the coast. And they were confronted by masked men. And the women and children were told by these men that they were first responders working for the famous medical charity Doctors Without Borders.

archival recording 1

The masked masked men presented themselves as doctors, pretending to be doctors and the medical staff helping them.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

It quickly turned out to be a total lie.

archival recording 1

When the men saw them, all the women, when their hijabs were torn off their heads, were stripped naked. His pants, including those of children, were torn off by force. The men also took money and any valuables they had with them.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

The masked men took their money, mobile phones and all the documents they had with them. I have completed them. A little later, two young men who were arrested by masked men in a separate operation were also thrown into this white van with women and children. And this is where the testimonies of the migrants lead us to what we begin to see in the film.

archival recording (stevis-gridneff matina)

I'm going to take a break now because I think we should let these people go. The children are tired and very tired. Belong. If you can tell them first, thank you very much. And also that I'm sorry for what happened to them.

archival recording 1


Michael the Barbarian

So at this point, Matina, what's your level of confidence, and that's exactly what this whistleblower is sending e-mails about you out of the blue.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

At this point, Michael, I'm 100% sure. And I am also 100% sure that this is not how the EU asylum system is supposed to work. I am convinced that we have the most solid evidence ever presented that the Greek authorities are involved in a crime.


Michael the Barbarian

we're coming back.

Matina, why would Greece do this to migrants coming to your country? Why would he so blatantly break the law, but above all treat people like this, risk their lives to prevent them from entering the Greek immigration system as asylum seekers?

Matina Stevis Gridneff

Well, Michael, it's a long story of almost a decade how we got to the point where Greek authorities treat migrants this way. You may remember that around 2015, 2016, due to the massive displacement caused by the civil war in Syria, more than a million mainly Syrians but also Iraqis tried to take refuge in Europe, fleeing these conflicts.

I was there myself in 2015 on the Greek island of Lesbos, when thousands of refugees arrived every day. Greece was just the first stop for those people who were trying to get to Europe and be safe.

And, most likely, the Greeks at that time were extremely generous. The Greek coastguard, the same one we saw on a ship abandoning people in the Aegean Sea, rescued hundreds of people every day and helped them on their way.

It was a completely different picture then. That is, the inhabitants of the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea welcomed these refugees and were even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for their generosity. The media documented his extraordinary generosity and responsiveness in helping those in need.

Michael the Barbarian

What changed?

Matina Stevis Gridneff

Well, Michael said at the time, the then-famous German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that we could do it. And she opened her country's borders to receive over a million refugees from Syria and Iraq within a few months.


archival recording 4

Many Germans roll out a red carpet to welcome refugees.

archival recording 5

(SINGING) Not Syria. Syrians here, refugees are welcome here.

archival recording 6

Thank you all here. Thank you. Thank you, Mrs. Merkel. Thank you very much, Germany.

(Video) Why This Diver Recorded His 'Final Hours' Adrift at Sea Before Being Rescue

Matina Stevis Gridneff

But that generosity dried up quickly and suddenly.

archival recording 7

Not only the Bavarian climate is frosty. The welcome at Germany's southern border is much cooler now.

archival recording 8

Germany has reintroduced border controls with Austria to better control the large number of migrants and refugees arriving.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

Germany has closed its borders, as have most other European Union countries.

archival recording 9

Austria is a small country. Besides, this country will be full, full, full soon.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

But the refugees kept coming. And many of them ended up in Greece for months, stuck on these islands.

archival recording 10

They're like, we're on a big prison-like island. We can't go to other cities. We can't have a job. We can't - I don't know. People have more problems in their heads.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

Thus they languished in Greece, often in terrible conditions, on the island of Lesbos and other neighboring islands. Conditions you won't see in some of the world's poorest countries.

archival recording 11

It's scary, really scary, because we didn't do anything. We don't respect. We left our country. I live here in a tent without an overnight stay. We are people.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

It was very difficult for small communities in Greek islands, such as the island of Lesbos, where tens of thousands of people lived.

Michael the Barbarian

So what is the reaction of these Greeks, especially on these islands, to the fact that for these migrants, Greece is no longer a stopover on the way to the rest of Europe, but something like a permanent destination, an endpoint instead of a beginning?

Matina Stevis Gridneff

The appalling conditions only made local communities feel that asylum seekers should not be in Greece. And that was the basis of government policy.

Michael the Barbarian

Explain this.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

Well, the Greek government realized that although the large number of Syrian refugees we saw around 2015 and 2016, although the number of asylum seekers arriving in Greece later was much, much lower, actually only a fraction, it was still too much because the local community, Greek voters, didn't want those people there.

Therefore, they developed a much tougher approach to asylum seekers. Part of that tougher line was a tougher approach to those on the borders.

Michael the Barbarian

That they never end up in the Greek asylum system.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

In fact, what we saw in our video and during our research was the most extreme version of this policy that these people were sent back to make it look like they were never there.

Michael the Barbarian

Matina, what duty does the European Union have here in the eyes of the Greek Government and the Greek people? Because what you have just presented is the history of a system that started in 2015 and absorbed all these migrants in a somewhat disproportionate way, and now Greece is asking to take in a disproportionate share of them. So what should the EU do?

Matina Stevis Gridneff

Well, the responsibility that the European Union has to Greece and the responsibility that Greece has to the European Union has been hotly debated in Europe for many, many years. Certainly the Greek authorities believe that the European Union should find a much faster and firmer way of determining whether migrants are entitled to asylum, expelling them from Greek territory and distributing them almost immediately to the rest of the country. Union.

The European Union believes that Greece should receive, process and receive asylum seekers much better. And it actually put billions behind that question. He paid Greece to build better facilities where people could stay while their asylum applications were being processed.

She assisted the Greek government financially and staff in protecting its borders. In fact, the coastguard vessel that we saw in our video, in our investigation, was actually paid for 75 percent by EU funds as part of efforts to support Greece, in violation of Greek and European law.

Michael the Barbarian

So we have an impasse here. And in light of this constant influx of migrants, does it seem that Greece's response is to take the rather extreme step of forcibly throwing these migrants into the sea?

Matina Stevis Gridneff

It's true, Michael. There is an impasse, but there is also a tacit agreement between the European Union and Greece. In a sense, Greece is doing dirty business to Europe. And until they are caught, the European Union will be happy to let it continue until now.

Indeed, the European Union and the European Commission in Brussels know that Greece has treated migrants brutally and possibly illegally. Many cases have been brought before the European Court of Human Rights. There were newspaper articles. There were testimonies of migrants.

But so far it has decided not to punish Greece. The reason for this is that Greece is needed. This is important for managing migration in Europe. But this incident, which we managed to investigate and expose, may have been a step too far.

Michael the Barbarian

You know, Matina, we're talking about Greece here. And we are talking about the EU and the way they treat these migrants. What we are really talking about is the refuge and the nature of the refuge. And it seems to me that the US has been deliberately restricting asylum for several years, starting with Title 42, during the COVID emergency.

And now with a replacement program that will make asylum seeking increasingly difficult. This seems to be what Greece and the EU want to make asylum applications more difficult. So what do you think about the fact that it's happening on these different continents at the same time?

(Video) 3 True Stories of People Lost at Sea

Matina Stevis Gridneff

Michael, I think you've come to the right place. I think that in the so-called developed Western world, we see countries with increasingly restrictive migration and refugee policies.

And that includes the United States. It covers the European Union, but also Australia, Great Britain. All of these places become increasingly difficult to migrate around the same time. Indeed, the United States continues to accept thousands of refugees. The European Union has welcomed millions of Ukrainians fleeing the war.

But in a different way, we see the erosion of the right to asylum. This varies from country to country, depending on the specifics and circumstances of each country. I think if we take a few steps back, these policies seem coordinated and reflect some of the trends we've seen over the last 10 years in developed countries.

We have seen the rise of nativist politics. But we've also seen many people in the developed world get worse, in some cases due to inflation and the cost of living. This means that people living in the rich world feel that their standard of living is declining, destroying the generosity of previous decades.

At the same time, however, in the poorest parts of the world, in many regions, we are seeing more conflict and difficulties. And often the West even had a hand in it. This creates a recipe for disaster, a recipe for abuse.

And I think this story makes me wonder, is what we've documented, what we've discovered about Greece a step too far? Will Greece be punished for this behavior? Or will it eventually be met with a shrug and become more widely accepted politics?

Michael the Barbarian

Some new norm of asylum evasion could be literally sending people to sea, never to be able to claim asylum.

Matina Stevis Gridneff


Michael the Barbarian

Matina, before I finish, I want to understand what could happen to those 12 people you met in Turkish custody? They came to Greece because they wanted asylum in the European Union, but they were never allowed to apply for it. So what do we think will happen to them now? Do they have a chance to get asylum somewhere?

Matina Stevis Gridneff

Well, Michael, at least two of them have already been released from Izmir custody. Somali women and children may still be held, we are not sure. But of course, none of them managed to apply for asylum in the European Union.

The young man who was on that boat, the Mahdi, who is from Ethiopia, I have been in contact with him since our research was published. He was released from custody. And now he is seriously considering seeking asylum in Türkiye.

And despite the different outcomes for each of these people, the only thing they seemed to agree on was that they were devastated by the experience of trying to get to Greece. The Mahdi told me that he regretted his attempt to seek asylum in Greece.

Michael the Barbarian

Which, if we're being honest, could be exactly how Greece wants him to feel.

Matina Stevis Gridneff


Michael the Barbarian

Well, Matina, thank you very much.

Matina Stevis Gridneff

Thank you Michael.

Michael the Barbarian

we're coming back.

Here's what else you need to know today. A critical dam along the front lines of Ukraine's war with Russia was destroyed on Tuesday, triggering massive flooding that put tens of thousands of people at risk.

Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of blowing up a dam on the Dnieper River in southern Ukraine that held back a body of water the size of Utah's Great Salt Lake.

file recording (antonio guerterres)

We have all seen the tragic images emerging today of a monumental humanitarian, economic and environmental catastrophe in the Kherson region of Ukraine.

Michael the Barbarian

Speaking at a news conference in New York, the UN Secretary-General said that whatever the cause of the disaster, the Kremlin is ultimately responsible.

file recording (antonio guerterres)

One thing is certain, this is another devastating consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Michael the Barbarian

Today's episode was produced by Rachelle Bonja, Shannon Lin and Diana Nguyen with help from Michael Simon Johnson. It was edited by MJ Davis Lin, features original music by Marion Lozano, Dan Powell and Rowan Niemisto, and was engineered by Chris Wood.

Our theme song was performed by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Fayad Mulla.

So much for the Journal. I am Michael Barbara. See you tomorrow.



What is the longest time someone has been stranded? ›

:: Oguri Jukichi

Japanese captain Oguri Jukichi holds the Guinness World Record for the longest known time that anyone has survived adrift at sea. Joined by one of his sailors, the skipper managed to survive for approximately 484 days after their cargo ship was damaged in a storm off the Japanese coast in October 1813.

What is the longest someone has been lost at sea and survived? ›

The longest known time which anyone has survived adrift at sea is approximately 484 days, by the Japanese Captain Oguri Jukichi and one of his sailors Otokichi.

What would you need if you were lost at sea? ›

Life vests, throw-able flotation, horn, fire extinguishers, and flares. We also recommend carrying a VHF radio with someone who knows how to properly use it. A GPS, first-aid kit, blankets, towline, some non-perishable food, and lots and lots of water.

What are the 4 priorities of survival at sea? ›

In terms of survival at sea, these can be translated into: (i) protection against drowning; (ii) protection from temperature extremes, both in and out of water; (iii) protection from dehydration; (iv) amelioration of the longer effects of starvation.

What's the longest someone has died and came back to life? ›

The longest time someone has been cardiac arrest and successfully revived and fully recovered is 17 hours. The record is held by Velma Thomas from West Virginia US.

What is the longest someone's gone without eating? ›

The story of Angus Barbieri, who went 382 days without eating.

Who was the man found after being lost at sea? ›

A man who spent 24 days adrift in the Caribbean Sea says he survived by eating little more than ketchup. Elvis Francois, 47, was found 120 nautical miles northwest of Colombia's Puerto Bolívar after a plane saw the word “help” engraved on the hull of his sailboat, the Colombian navy said in a statement Thursday.

What is the largest sea deaths? ›

The wartime sinking of the German Wilhelm Gustloff in January 1945 in World War II by a Soviet Navy submarine, with an estimated loss of about 9,400 people, remains the deadliest isolated maritime disaster ever, excluding such events as the destruction of entire fleets like the 1274 and 1281 storms that are said to ...

Who survived underwater for 3 days? ›

On May 23, it will be 10 years since a man named Harrison Okene survived three days at the bottom of the sea in the wreck of a ship. The 29-year-old had been trapped in the freezing cold and pitch-black darkness 100 feet beneath the ocean surface for 60 hours.

What happens to bodies lost at sea? ›

Putrefaction and scavenging creatures will dismember the corpse in a week or two and the bones will sink to the seabed. There they may be slowly buried by marine silt or broken down further over months or years, depending on the acidity of the water.

Should you drink seawater if you're lost at sea? ›

Drinking seawater can be deadly to humans.

Seawater contains salt. When humans drink seawater, their cells are thus taking in water and salt. While humans can safely ingest small amounts of salt, the salt content in seawater is much higher than what can be processed by the human body.

How long can you last lost at sea? ›

A person can survive for around one hour in 5C water, two hours in 10C and six hours in 15C - but if the temperature is in the high 20s then it is possible to survive for around 25 hours, he says.

What are the 3 golden rules of survival? ›

In general, the human can survive for: 3 minutes without breathing (asphyxiation, blood loss) 3 hours without shelter in an extreme environment (exposure) 3 days without water (dehydration)

What are the 4 C's of survival? ›

And it may be hard to narrow down what you need and do not need. To know which pieces of equipment to take with you in any survival situation, most experts will recommend the 5 C's of Survival: cutting, combustion, cover, containers, and cordage.

What organ lasts the longest after death? ›

The approximate amount of time between recovering the tissues/organs and transplanting them is:
  • Lung - 4 to 6 hours.
  • Heart - 4 hours.
  • Liver - 24 hours.
  • Pancreas - 24 hours.
  • Kidney - 72 hours.
  • Cornea - 14 days.
  • Bones - 5 years.
  • Skin - 5 year.

How long is the brain active after death? ›

Although death has historically been medically defined as the moment when the heart irreversibly stops beating, recent studies have suggested brain activity in many animals and humans can continue for seconds to hours.

What happens 30 minutes after death? ›

Within hours, blood is pulled downwards, causing splotches on the skin. Because the heart is no longer pumping blood around the body, it starts being pulled down by gravity. As the blood pools, patches appear on the skin within 30 minutes of death.

What is the world record for not drinking? ›

Claude Piantadosi of North Carolina's Duke University says 100 hours is around the limit. The world record for the longest survival time without water and food is 18 days, achieved by an 18-year-old man in Austria who was accidentally locked in a government facility in 1979.

What is the longest someone has starved themselves? ›

Agostino "Angus" Giuseppe A Barbieri (1939 – 7 September 1990) was a Scottish man who fasted for 392 days, from June 1965 to July 1966. He lived on tea, coffee, sparkling water, and vitamins while living at home in Tayport, Scotland, and frequently visiting Maryfield Hospital for medical evaluation.

How little can a person eat and stay alive? ›

It's reported that some people have been able to survive up to a week with no food and no water. In some situations, people may be able to survive longer if they consume water.

How one guy survived at the bottom of the ocean? ›

In 2013, Harrison Okene became an accidental aquanaut when he survived more than 60 hours at the bottom of the ocean by breathing through an air pocket.

Did they find the bottom of the ocean? ›

Yet for all of our reliance on the ocean, more than eighty percent of this vast, underwater realm remains unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored.

Who got buried in the ocean? ›

Christopher Levett (1586–1630), English explorer of modern–day New England, buried at sea after dying on voyage out of Massachusetts. William Lowndes (1782–1822), U.S. Congressman from South Carolina, buried in the Atlantic Ocean after dying en route to the United Kingdom. Osama bin Laden (1957–2011), Arab terrorist.

What ocean animal kills the most humans? ›

1.Box jellyfish

Considered the most deadly creature in the sea, the box jellyfish may be beautiful to look at, but it has enough venom to kill a human in a matter of minutes. Native to Australia and found in Indo-Pacific waters, the box jellyfish has around 15 tentacles that can reach lengths of upto three meters.

What is the most common cause of death at sea? ›

The most common natural cause of death in seafarers is cardiac arrest.

Is it safe to stay underwater for 24 hours? ›

For reasons that still aren't well understood, human skin starts to break down after continuous immersion in water of a few days. You'd suffer open sores and be liable to fungal and bacterial infections just from the spores on your skin, even if the water itself was perfectly sterile.

Who was the chef found alive in the shipwreck? ›

In 2013, Harrison Okene was working as a cook on a tugboat off the Nigerian coast. The boat was stabilizing an oil tanker, and had a crew of 12 people on board. An ocean swell came out of nowhere and slammed into the smaller boat, immediately capsizing it and sending it sinking into the ocean depths.

Was a ship's cook alive in the air pocket? ›

Footage has emerged of the moment a ship's cook was rescued by divers after surviving for three days at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in an air pocket on a sunken tugboat. Harrison Odjegba Okene, a Nigerian cook, survived by breathing an ever-dwindling supply of oxygen in an air pocket.

Does the Navy drop bodies in the ocean? ›

Is burial at sea provided by the Navy or the National Cemetery Administration? The U.S. Navy provides burial at sea. The National Cemetery Administration can't perform this type of committal service. For information, call the U.S. Navy Mortuary Affairs office at 866-787-0081.

How many undiscovered bodies are there? ›

There were approximately 40,000 UIDs in the United States as of 2006, and numerous others elsewhere. A body may go unidentified due to death in a state where the person was unrecorded, an advanced state of decomposition or major facial injuries.

What would a body look like after 3 weeks in water? ›

And if the body is floating in water less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) for about three weeks, the tissues turn into a soapy fatty acid known as "grave wax" that halts bacterial growth. The skin, however, will still blister and turn greenish black.

Can you drink ocean water if you boil it? ›

One of the most well-known techniques used to obtain safe drinking water is through distillation. You can safely drink the salt-free water vapor collected when you boil seawater.

Can you drink rain water? ›

To lower your risk of getting sick, consider using rainwater only for uses such as watering plants that you don't eat or washing items that are not used for cooking or eating. Avoid using rainwater for drinking, cooking, brushing your teeth, or rinsing or watering plants that you intend to eat.

Can you drink rain water at sea? ›

One thing to remember here is that it is advisable to drink as much rain water possible, as it is very much safe. If stuck in the Polar Regions, one can melt the bluish-greyed ice and consume it as potable water. Such ice is normally devoid of salt and is ok to ingest.

Can someone survive in the ocean for 6 days? ›

Assuming you're in warm waters and wearing a wetsuit and life vest, you could potentially survive for as many as three to five days, at which point you'll most likely succumb to dehydration.

Can you survive in the ocean for 7 days? ›

If you do have a life jacket on that is keeping you afloat, pulling your knees up to your chest will help you retain some heat, but not for too long. In warmer water, with a wetsuit and life jacket, you could survive for as much as three to five days. That is of course if you don't succumb to dehydration or the sharks.

What happens if you spend too long in the sea? ›

After 12 hours of immersion, the skin loses plasticity because of reduced ability to hold water. It also depletes both lipids and natural moisturizing factors, which can lead to long-term problems.

What is the number 1 priority for survival? ›

Water, warmth, signals, shelter and food are the commonly known top 5 priorities in a survival situation.

What are the 8 tips of survival? ›

To make sure you're ready for this worst-case scenario, Townes shares his essential wilderness survival tips for Pacific Northwesterners.
  • Pack for emergencies. ...
  • Leave your plans with a friend. ...
  • Treat injuries as best you can. ...
  • Assess your situation. ...
  • Find or build shelter. ...
  • Identify clean water. ...
  • Practice fire safety.
Aug 17, 2020

What are the 4 most important things for survival? ›

The four basic needs of nearly all survival situations are shelter, water, fire, and food.

What are the 4 priorities of survival? ›

So, for this post, we are going to get back to the basics of survival – The Core Four. Typically, your survival priorities will be in this order: SHELTER, WATER, FIRE & FOOD.

What are the 4 main things for survival? ›

The 4 Basics of Survival
  • Food.
  • Fire.
  • Water.
  • Shelter.

What are the 3s of survival? ›

You can survive three minutes without breathable air (unconsciousness), or in icy water. You can survive three hours in a harsh environment (extreme heat or cold). You can survive three days without drinkable water. You can survive three weeks without food.

What is the longest time someone has been stranded on a deserted island? ›

The longest recorded survival on a deserted island belongs to Salvador Alvarenga, a Salvadoran fisherman who was stranded along the western coast of Mexico in November 2012. He survived for 438 days, until a group of locals discovered him in January 2014.

What is the longest someone has gone without oxygen and survived? ›

Without breathing: 22 minutes. The longest any human being ever went without breathing took place in 2012, when Danish freediver Stig Severinsen held his breath underwater for 22 minutes. Without oxygen, the human brain will die after about four minutes.

What is the longest someone has been lost in the wilderness? ›

Into the woods: how one man survived alone in the wilderness for 27 years.

Who survived the longest? ›

Jeanne Calment

Jeanne Louise Calment, the world's longest living person (who died at the age of 122) was born in Arles, France on February 21, 1875 and died on August 4, 1997 in a nursing home in Arles. “I've waited 110 years to be famous, I count on taking advantage of it,” she quipped at her 120th birthday party.

What is the most inaccessible island on earth? ›

Tristan da Cunha, a group of volcanic islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, is the most isolated inhabited archipelago on the planet, meaning it is located at the greatest distance to civilization — 1,514 miles south of the island of Saint Helena to be exact.

Do deserted island still exist? ›

There are more than 2 million uninhabited islands in the world. Some are protected as nature reserves, while some are owned by private individuals or groups. Some others remain inhabited due to political or religious reasons.

How long can you survive stranded in the ocean? ›

A person can survive for around one hour in 5C water, two hours in 10C and six hours in 15C - but if the temperature is in the high 20s then it is possible to survive for around 25 hours, he says.

Is there any life that doesn't breathe? ›

When the parasitic blob known as Henneguya salminicola sinks its spores into the flesh of a tasty fish, it does not hold its breath. That's because H. salminicola is the only known animal on Earth that does not breathe.

How long can a human go without eating? ›

Altogether, it seems possible to survive without food and drink within a time span of 8 to 21 days. If a person is only deprived of food, the survival time may even go up to about two months, although this is influenced by many factors.

What is the longest time someone has held their breath? ›

The current world record for breath holding, using a technique that is likely the same one the actor employed, is 24 minutes and 37 seconds. This is held by Budimir Šobat — a professional breath hold diver with whom I have worked closely.

What is the longest time without blinking? ›

What is the world record of not blinking? The record for spending the longest time without blinking the eye was set by Anand Haridas (born on December 24, 1983) of Kannur, Kerala. He spent 1 hour and 31 minutes without blinking his both eyes, as confirmed on July 12, 2021.

Is there any untouched wilderness left? ›

There aren't many corners of the world left untouched by humanity. Recent research has highlighted that just 23% of the planet's land surface (excluding Antarctica) and 13% of the ocean can now be classified as wilderness, representing nearly a 10% decline over the last 20 years.

What is the highest height a human can survive? ›

A more recent study on 287 vertical fall victims revealed that falls from height of 8 stories (i.e. around 90-100 feet) and higher, are associated with a 100% mortality [4]. Thus, a vertical falling height of more than 100 feet is generally considered to constitute a "non-survivable" injury.

Has anyone survived skydiving without a parachute? ›

We say miracles because they landed on ground without a parachute. The most famous free falling survival story is that of former air-hostess Vesna Vulović. She survived a 33,000-ft fall from a plane without parachute in 1972. It became an unwanted Guinness record that still stands to this day.

What's the longest someone has been in a coma? ›

On Aug. 6, 1941, 6-year-old Elaine Esposito went to the hospital for a routine appendectomy. She went under general anesthetic and never came out. Dubbed the "sleeping beauty," Esposito stayed in a coma for 37 years and 111 days before succumbing in 1978 — the longest-ever coma, according to Guinness World Records.


1. Morcheeba - The sea
2. James May Gets Stranded At Sea! | Man Lab
(Naked Science)
4. The Man Who Survived 76 Days At Sea Recalls His 2 Month Battle | Fight To Survive S2 EP9 | Wonder
5. Röyksopp - Running To The Sea (Official video)
6. How this father and daughter miraculously survived being stranded at sea | 60 Minutes Australia
(60 Minutes Australia)


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