Imagine one moment your are on the deck of a ship and the next you are in the middle of the deep blue sea. You don't bother crying out because no one will hear you. The chances of another ship passing your way are slim, but in order to stay alive you will have to tread water as long as you can. Something like this happened to Marine Lance Cpl. Zachary Mayo and he lived to tell the tale.
He survived by keeping his cool and using a technique he was taught in basic training which helped him float for two days and two nights until he was picked up by a Pakistani fishing boat. The basic method is to tie knots in your clothing, then swish them full of air to make a kind of balloon out of them.
This LifeHacker article provides some details and a video tutorial is in the video below.
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