[[quoteright:320:[[VideoGame/TheCurseOfMonkeyIsland http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/28900-the-curse-of-monkey-island-windows-screenshot-our-hero-guybrush_9528.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:320:Look, [[CluckingFunny chicken]]!]]

->''"Lost at sea for days now. I have no crew and no navigational instruments, no provisions except a half-eaten corn dog, and unless I find water soon, I'm surely done for."''
-->-'''from the CaptainsLog of Guybrush Threepwood''', ''VideoGame/TheCurseOfMonkeyIsland''

A character or characters finds themselves adrift on the ocean without a means of getting to shore and little to no food or drinkable water. Usually, this is the result of a storm at sea, and if the characters in question are lucky they'll be in a lifeboat. If not they'll be floating on a piece of driftwood with nothing except the clothes on their back.

One or more of the characters may start [[MeatOVision hallucinating]] or [[OceanMadness acting crazy]], or the survivors may start to argue over the remaining supplies while they wait to be rescued or manage to find land.

Often happens in stories about WoodenShipsAndIronMen.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Variant in ''ComicBook/DeCapeEtDeCrocs'': the heroes find themselves stranded in low water in the middle of the mediterranean sea, with nothing to eat or drink and no possible escape. One of them tries to fish, the other two start bikering and fighting.
* Franchise/{{Tintin}}: Tintin, Haddock and Szut are also lost at sea on a hastily made lifeboat in ''Coke en stock''. When Tintin and Szut decide to drink sea water to stop suffering from thirst, Haddock mocks them... and promptly slips on the planks, falling head first in the sea and drinking more than both of them.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* The Creator/AlfredHitchcock movie ''Film/{{Lifeboat}}''.
* ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Water_(film) Open Water]]''. Two scuba divers are accidentally left behind by their dive boat in the open ocean.
** The sequel features a group of boaters who all decide to go swimming one day and then a series of increasingly improbable events keep them from getting back on board.
* Parodied at the end of ''[[Film/RoadTo Road to Morocco]]'', where Music/BingCrosby and Creator/BobHope's characters end up on a raft in the ocean. Following Hope's [[LargeHam lengthy hamtastic speech]] about certain death, it's revealed they're almost literally floating in the New York City harbor.
* In ''Film/JoeVersusTheVolcano'', Joe ends lost at sea on his wonderful [[spoiler:luggage. Twice.]]
* ''Film/{{Proteus}}''
* The entire plot of ''Film/AllIsLost'' is one man's battle to survive after his yacht is struck by a cargo container.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* The poem "Literature/TheRimeOfTheAncientMariner": a group of sailors wind up lost at sea when the ship is driven off course after the narrator [[NiceJobBreakingItHero shoots an albatross]]. One by one the crew all perish, but the mariner survives.
* The short story "The Open Boat" by Stephen Crane is about a group of sailors who are lost at sea. It was based on Crane's own experience of surviving a shipwreck.
* Happens in ''Literature/DonJuan'' by Lord Byron, eventually leading to NoPartyLikeADonnerParty. The eponymous hero is the only survivor.
* Actually happens, of all people, to Captain Aubrey of the ''Literature/AubreyMaturin'' saga. He has to rescue Dr. Maturin when the latter falls out of the Surprise's great cabin, but since the two are unable to grab onto the ship's boats, they are left to float and swim for a considerable period of time till they are picked up by a pahi boat piloted by some rather hostile lady islanders.
* ''Literature/{{Slimer}}'' begins with the protagonists adrift in the freezing cold Atlantic in a life raft after their yacht sank.
* ''Literature/TheIslandOfDoctorMoreau'' also begins this way. In Edward Prendick's case, he's in the Pacific. He initially has a couple of fellow survivors with him, but they get into a fight after it's suggested they turn to [[NoPartyLikeADonnerParty cannibalism]] to survive. The two fall overboard and drown, leaving Prendick alone. Prendick is eventually picked up by a passing ship, but in the interim has gone nearly insane from sunstroke and lack of food.
* ''Literature/{{Frankenstein}}''
* The central plot of ''Literature/LifeOfPi''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* One ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' episode had several sailors adrift in a boat and contemplating cannibalism to survive.
* Evoked by Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant in ''TheRickyGervaisShow'', when they asked Karl Pilkington who he'd rather save from a sinking ship. Most of Steve's argumentation was based on the fact that if Karl took Ricky on his lifeboat, he'd eat all the food in five minutes and let Karl starve.
* The third-season ''Series/HawaiiFive0'' episode, "Lana I Ka Moana" (whose title is Hawaiian for "Adrift") partially employs this trope when it starts with Danny and [=McGarrett=] getting their boat hijacked on a fishing trip, far enough offshore that it's no longer visible. The thief leaves them in the dinghy they found him in, which no longer has a working motor, and although it seems eminently possible they can save themselves (and eventually they do), at first Danny sees their situation as hopeless.
* While trying to avoid the stray dogs crowding the beach at the Jersey Shore, Mac and Frank of ''ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'' pass out in an inflatable raft after getting drunk on Rum Ham and wake up adrift at sea. [[FromBadToWorse Then they lose the Rum Ham!]]
* The subject of the ''Series/MrShow'' sketch "Lifeboat" in which the raft passengers are members of a JerrySpringer-esque show. They're actually more concerned with their own problems than they are with finding dry land.
* ''Series/HoratioHornblower'': In "The Even Chance", it happened to [[spoiler:Archie Kennedy]]. It was no accident. He had an epileptic fit during a covert raid and Hornblower had to clunk him unconscious, and his tormentor untied the boat he was in an attempt to murder him. The boat drifts away and he's lost and presumed dead. [[ChekhovMIA He appears again]] in "The Duchess and the Devil". The audience doesn't know much about the period when he was Lost at Sea as the focus is always on Hornblower.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* At the beginning of ''VideoGame/TheCurseOfMonkeyIsland'', Guybrush is adrift at sea on a bumper car after escaping from the [[CircusOfFear Carnival of the Damned]] after the end of the last game.
** And to continue it as a gag, literally everything he lists would be nice to have floats by him but he never notices due to his writing. Which follows as: fresh water (a bottle of purified spring water), fresh fruit to fight off scurvy (a crate filled with various fruit), bananas (a banana crate), and finally "I might as well wish for a chicken and a big barrel of Grog for all the good it'll do me" (the trope page image).
* Happens in ''VideoGame/IllusionOfGaia''.
* Alluded to in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening'': Link gets caught in a storm and [[spoiler: apparently]] washes up on a small island. By the end of the game he's [[spoiler: defeated the Nightmares and caused a DreamApocalypse, but he's still stranded in the middle of nowhere with nobody but a psychedelic whale and a couple of seagulls to keep him company]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' had Homer, Bart, Ned, and Todd (or Rod) adrift at sea in a raft after a boy scout rafting trip goes awry. They are eventually saved when Homer is able to locate a Krusty Burger situated on an offshore drilling rig.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheRoadToElDorado'': Miguel and Tulio are lost at sea on a lifeboat and suffer from thirst.
* ClassicDisneyShort "No Sail": WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck and Goofy are on a coin-operated boat and don't have enough change to get back to shore.
* ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' short "Wakiki Wabbit" opens with two castaways on a raft, each considering eating the other.
** Another cartoon, "8 Ball Bunny", has Bugs and a penguin briefly stranded at sea, and Bugs starts seeing his companion [[MeatOVision as a roast chicken]].
* [[WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends Garfield]] imagines this, with the box as the makeshift seagoing vessel of choice. He imagines Odie as a [[ComicStrip/{{Blondie}} Dagwood]] sandwich (not called out as such, but still).
** Garfield also imagines that he and Odie are pirates lost at sea in the Halloween special, while floating across a misty lake in a rowboat.
* Fievel from ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail'' gets washed overboard at sea, but miraculously survives by floating to New York in a glass bottle.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode "The Perfect Castaway" Peter, Joe, Quagmire and Cleveland are castaways after Peter's fishing boat is destroyed in a hurricane, escaping on a raft made from Quagmire's inflatable doll collection. Peter eats Joe's legs up to his knees before they find a deserted island. They are rescued several months later by a cruise ship that passes by while the men are attempting to have an orgy.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/CatDog'' has the titular duo along with Mervis and Mr. Sunshine lost at sea while inside a dumpster. They turn it into a makeshift sail boat and Cat names himself captain, and proceeds to go mad with power. After making his whole crew walk the plank, it turns out [[spoiler: they were never lost at sea, but inside a fountain surrounded by fog. Except Cat is still DrunkWithPower.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* This is very much TruthInTelevision. One of the most well-known examples of the 20th century occurred after the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Indianapolis_(CA-35) USS Indianapolis]] was torpedoed in the Philippine sea in 1945. Out of 880 men that survived the ship sinking itself, only 317 ultimately survived the five-day ordeal.
** Dramatized in the MadeForTVMovie ''Mission of the Shark''.
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