If you’re a news junkie and a scuba diving fan, then chances are you have already heard about the diver who was left behind during a recent expedition off the coast of Queensland, Australia.
The relatively experienced diver, 30-year-old Jacob Childs, became stranded at the Althea Wreck, which is located approximately 30 nautical miles northeast of Bundaberg.
Apparently, upon resurfacing, he missed his chance to grab hold of the boat’s tagline and unfortunately encountered a strong current that veered him well off-course.
The current was an estimated 4-5 knots, and as a result, Jacob was quickly separated from the vessel, and an ensuing search party was launched.
While patrol vessels took to the waters, and helicopters flew overhead, Jacob essentially waited in the open waters for roughly 6 hours until help could arrive.
And what happened next took the internet by storm.
Shortly before he was rescued, Jacob recorded a “final video,” which, thankfully, was not his last words, but which did record his sentiments about being trapped at sea with night about to fall.
He noted that he could hear and see the copters and vessels that were sent to help him, but with the sun setting, was starting to worry, to say the least about the prospect of being found.
Fearing he might not make it back alive, he turned to the camera and stated “So that’s it. The sun goes down, they won’t do nothing….That’s a wrap on old Jakey.”
The Go Pro video he made while bobbing in the water has gone viral since the news story broke. But in a wonderful happy ending twist, Jacob was indeed rescued at around 6:00 p.m. not long after he made the groundbreaking and haunting video.
And as the officer in charge of the search efforts attested, Jacob had done everything right up to that point to ensure that he was able to be rescued.
Jacob had cleverly thought of a few outside-the-box solutions for being rescued on his accord, which included following the pattern of an area trawler and trying to swim toward it.
However, the biggest thing he did to secure his survival was to stay calm. As the officer in charge stated to the press, “He didn’t panic and did all the right things.”
Once a diver is in a harrowing situation like being stranded out to sea, the worst thing they can do is start expending excess energy.
It’s natural to want to swim towards an unknown point or to quicken your heartbeat along with your movements to get to somewhere safe.
But instead, Jacob just floated and kept his movements to a minimum. Other than trying to follow the trawler, which appeared to be close enough to swim to, he kept things in perspective, stayed calm, and waited to be found.
So if you ever find yourself accidentally left behind, or somehow stranded, remember the most important thing you can do is never to panic.
By saving your energy, and staying calm, you’ll stay afloat and remain relatively visible, and will be ready to go when help arrives.