The Odds of Surviving

Published on July 11th, 2018

The problem with movies set on the ocean is they struggle to depict the intended sea conditions, and since this is our sport, we lose patience with the plot. But Dana Schwartz of Entertainment Weekly isn’t shackled with our skepticism, and in this report she looks at 13 classic ‘lost at sea’ movies and considers the odds of surviving, and by that she means, her odds of surviving.

Adrift (2018)
Shailene Woodley plays the real-life survivor Tami Oldham who got caught in a hurricane and had to sail on her own towards Hawai’i with a broken boat. In honor of her heroism and harrowing story, I tried to put myself in her terrible, waterlogged shoes.

My chance of survival: 2%. First, I know nothing about sailing. Tami had no chance of rescue and needed to sail herself to safety. I would never be able to do that, with or without Sam Claflin as a love interest.

Life of Pi (2012)
My chance of survival: 20%. If I remember correctly, Pi survives mainly by cowering in a minature raft he floats on to hide from the tiger. I am better at hiding than I am at sailing. But still, I get very hungry.

The Deep (2012)
My chance of survival: 1%. This Icelandic movie is based on a true story about a fisherman who survived in the freezing ocean after his boat capsized. I am always cold, even in my office. I would be very bad at this.

The Finest Hours (2016)
My chance of survival: 80%. This is a movie about a Coast Guard rescue mission. And a historically successful one! I can be rescued by Chris Pine.

The Deep (1977)
My chance of survival: 0%. I do not know how to scuba dive and also I am very scared of it, and so I would immediately panic and breath too much or too little and screw up my lungs in the way that you’re not supposed to when you’re scuba diving.

The Disappeared (2012)
My chance of survival: 30%. Because this film is about six men stranded after their fishing boat sinks, I feel like I could survive just by following directions and hoping no one eats me.

Open Water (2003)
My chance of survival: 0%. See my earlier answer about scuba diving, and then throw in sharks.

The Reef (2010)
My chance of survival: 20%. I’m not a terrible swimmer, and even though sharks are super scary, statistically, they probably won’t eat me. So if I could stick to the group and make it to a shallow section of the reef where I could stand, I could probably wait it out until I was rescued by a fishing boat.

The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
My chance of survival: 25%. Again, I’m basing my odds here on not having to rely on any of my own boat knowledge. If I make it out of this one, it’s mostly luck.

All Is Lost (2013)
My chance of survival: 10%. Look, I’ll say again: I don’t know how to sail. But Robert Redford only had a shot at making it out if he was rescued, and I’m banking on those odds.

Titanic (1997)
My chance of survival: 85%. Women and children first, people. Since I almost certainly wouldn’t fall in love with a rougish third-class artist, I wouldn’t jump out of the lifeboat at the last minute in time to push him off a door.

In the Heart of the Sea (2015)
My chance of survival: 50%. Whales are scary, and so are shipwrecks, but in this imaginary scenario, I have Chris Hemsworth to help me survive.

The Perfect Storm (2000)
My chance of survival: 0%. The storm is perfect for a reason. RIP me.

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