Man Survives Over 3 Hours Lost at Sea By Turning His Jeans Into A Life Jacket

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One German tourist put his survival skills to test, after accidentally being knocked overboard in rough seas. 30-year-old Arne Murke was sailing with his brother in Tolaga Bay on the east coast of New Zealand’s north island, when the yacht’s boom swung unexpectedly, knocking him into the water.

His brother quickly threw him a life jacket, but he was unable to reach it and was carried off by the swell. In a panic shock, Murke tried to stay afloat by kicking his legs but realized he needed to come up with a better plan. He then quickly decided to engage in a Navy Seals training, which involves creating a makeshift “life jacket” out of the jeans he was wearing.

Murke took off his pants, made a knot at the end of the legs, inflated them, pulled them over water to get air inside, and then pushed them under the water. Every ten minutes the 30-year-old said he would repeat the steps as he thought of his 10-month-old daughter for motivation to give him strength.

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Three and a half hours later, a Hawke’s Bay Rescue helicopter managed to find Murke, after conducting a massive search along with the Air Force and Coast Guard. Now, I have to say, this is one lucky man! Honestly, if that was me, I would have just let my Carrie Underwood out, and tell Jesus to take the wheel and wish for the best. Who would have thought that jeans could save your life?

Apparently, this is actually a real thing that US Navy Seals are trained to do. The men use their pants to help them float and stay on the surface, as well as conserve energy. Unlike a dead man float where your face is in the water, this savvy tactic allows you to rest with your face up so rescuers can find you and you can call out for help.

So, if you’re ever in a situation like this, which I really hope you aren’t, here is a step by step guide on how to create a homemade flotation device. I’ll try to make it easy but effective for you.

  • STEP 1:The first step is the easiest, just take your pants off. While you’re swimming tie a knot in the ends of the pant legs. The US Navy highly recommends you tight both pant legs together and tighten them enough to trap the air. Don’t forget to zip up the fly!
  • STEP 2: Time to inflate! Put the waist opening on your shoulder, then in one quick motion, raise the open waist-high above your head to get some air and slam them into the water. Then, close the waist underneath the water to hold in the air. NOTE: If your air pocket isn’t filled enough, repeat that last step. You can also try to fill the pants by going underwater and breathing air into the open waist. BUT, the first one might be a bit easier.
  • STEP 3: Your final step is to put your head through the inflated pan legs and hold the waist closed and underwater. Then, you wish for the best.

There you have it. They are pretty straightforward steps, and it may take a few tries, so it’s important to take a deep breath and not panic because then you might miss a step or two. You can always try next time you’re at a pool to make sure you’re prepared if a situation like this ever happens. Oh, and make sure your jeans don’t have any holes, because that might not work as well.

So yeah, I might have just saved your life! You learn something new everyday.

This article was originally posted on March, 12, 2019.

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