Good Day peeps. Today I would like to share an amazing group dynamic task that is taken from the Navy. This has been used in Navy for many years and it is been still implemented in many parts of the world. Hyper Island has taken many tasks that are related to Group dynamics and Team building from Navy. It is a great team building exercise and lets the groups come closer to each other. This is very interactive and when it is done in the start of the group work it is much more productive. Team leaders have more role in it and this also allows you to see that which group stage the group is right now. Lost At Sea has been proven effective in team building, communication, decision making, listening to each other, trusting on each other’s judgement, discussion, group dynamics and so on.

As usual today you are going to do this task with me and then we will do the refection individually, in your groups and at the end we will do it together. The task is to survive in difficult or in this case life threatening situations and my purpose is to get the group dynamics running in no time.



You have chartered a yacht with three friends, for the holiday trip of a life time across the Atlantic Ocean. Because none of you have any previous sailing experience, you have hired an experienced skipper and two-person crew.

Unfortunately in mid Atlantic a fierce fire breaks out in the ships gallery and the skipper and crew have been lost whilst trying to fight the blaze. Much of the yacht is destroyed and slowly sinking.

Your location is unclear because vital navigational and radio equipment have been damaged in the fire. Your best estimate is that you are many hundreds of miles from the nearest landfall.

You and your friends have managed to save 15 items, undamaged and intact after the fire. In addition, you have salvaged a four man rubber life craft and a box of matches.


Your task is to rank the 15 items in terms of their importance for you, as you wait to be rescued. Place the number 1 by the most important item, the number 2 by the second most important, and so on through the number 15 for the least important.


You are the group of 3-4 people and you can make as many groups as you can easily handle as a facilitator. This task is divided into TWO parts. At first each member of the group will do this task individually and you give them 5-7 minutes for this. This is important for the decision making and personal creativity and the time factor will help the process to think and run faster. Write the answers on under MY RANKING. 

Next each group solve this task by discussing with each other. You give them maximum 10 minutes for this task. This is good for communication, leadership and group dynamics etc. And with in 10 minutes whole group has to agree on the 15 items and finish the task.

Great job you guys for finishing this task in time. Now is the time to see and compare the results and see where you stand and than analyze the answers. I want to point out that the task itself is not important and being facilitator I am more concern in the process and results of that process. So lets see what American coastguard has defined their priorities and see if you survived on your individual skills or with the help of your group/team work.


Before you read below I would like you to finish the task first and then proceed from this point. But if you just want to read then please go ahead.

According to the experts, in the case of US Coastguard, the basic supplies needed when a person is stranded mid-ocean are articles to attract attention and aid survival until rescue arrives. Articles for navigation are of little importance since even if a small life raft were capable of reaching land, it would be impossible to store enough food and water to survive for that amount of time. Without signaling devices, there is almost no chance of being spotted and rescued.’

So, the list below is the ranking order of the items according to their importance to your survival:


  1. The correct answers were suggested by the US Coastguard. Give them copy each of the ‘expert’ rankings. Compare your individual and group answers with the correct answers and determine a score.
  2. For each item, mark the number of points that your score differs from the Coastguard ranking and then add up all the points. Disregard plus or minus differences. The lower the total, the better your score.
  3.  As the participants work together in a team, sharing thoughts and ideas, this could produce an improved score over the individual results. Discuss with your group why the scores were different? What changed their minds? And was this enough to survive?

The point number 3 is the reason I like this task. You yourself will see this result when you do it with several groups. In the majority of the groups you will find out that individuals scored less and most of them survived barely but when the whole group came in together and discussed every item in the list and work their way till the end with proper discussion the result will be in their rescue and survival. Don’t believe me? Do it in your group and then share your results in the comments below. 🙂

In simple words communication and trust is a key factor along with the good listening skills. Leaders have their role to play. As a facilitator spend time with the groups on discussing the task. Let all of them talk and share their point of view. This is the most important of them all. Now lets see your results to compare with the official results and see how many of you survived and how many… 🙂 well you know what. 🙂


  • 0-25 You demonstrated great survival skills. Rescued!
  • 26-32 Above average results. Good survival skills. Rescued!
  • 33-45 Seasick, hungry and tired. Rescued!
  • 46-55 Dehydrated and barely alive. It was tough, but rescued!
  • 56-70 Rescued, but only just in time!
  • 71-112 Oh dear, your empty raft is washed up on a beach, weeks after the search was called off.

That is it folks for today. I hope you gained and survived. Its been fun writing today and I will see you in the next post with another amazing post.




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