German tourist Arne Murke and his brother set sail from Auckland, New Zealand, to deliver the yacht Wahoo to Brazil, when the boom got loose in rough weather and knocked him into the ocean, according to the New Zealand Herald (bit.ly/nzharne).
His brother was not able to get to him, and he was not able to reach the life preserver thrown to him. So there he was, adrift and alone, with no life jacket, in 10-foot swells.
Luckily, he kept his wits, and remembered a Navy Seal trick. He took off his jeans, made knots at the end of the legs, then inflated them by pulling them over the water, creating an improvised life vest. A handy thing to know for anyone who goes out on the water. Here’s how to do it: bit.ly/pantvest
Fortunately, his brother was able to call for help, and Murke was rescued three and a half hours later. “Without the jeans I wouldn’t be here today,” he said.