How to Survival Float

Face Down Floating

    Step 1

    Get into water that's at least waist-deep and take a deep breath and hold it. Float in a horizontal position with your face down in the water. Only the back of your head should breach the surface. The air in your lungs will keep you floating. Relax.

    Step 2

    Let your arms and legs dangle. Your arms may float up to the surface. You may need to kick your legs a little after taking a breath to keep from sinking back down too far.

    Step 3

    Raise your head when you need a breath of air. If you need to, bring your arms and legs slightly upward to the surface, then push them downward to help you elevate your head for a breath and return to a relaxed floating position.

Back Floating

    Step 1

    Lie on your back in calm water and relax your limbs to float horizontally.

    Step 2

    Keep your head above the water line at all times so your airway stays dry. Arch the back slightly to assist in the float.

    Step 3

    Kick gently or tread water to make progress toward land or a boat, if one is in sight.


  • Practice survival floating in a pool before attempting in open water.
  • Relax your mind as well as your body, which aids in conserving your energy and oxygen.

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