Rafts do not have keels, therefore, you can't sail them into the wind. However, anyone can sail a raft downwind. You can successfully sail multiplace (except 20- to 25-man) rafts 10 degrees off from the direction of the wind. Do not try to sail the raft unless land is near. If you decide to sail and the wind is blowing toward a desired destination, fully inflate the raft, sit high, take in the sea anchor, rig a sail, and use an oar as a rudder.
In a multiplace (except 20- to 25-man) raft, erect a square sail in the bow using the oars and their extensions as the mast and crossbar (Figure 16-19). You may use a waterproof tarpaulin or parachute material for the sail. If the raft has no regular mast socket and step, erect the mast by tying it securely to the front cross seat using braces. Pad the bottom of the mast to prevent it from chafing or punching a hole through the floor, whether or not there is a socket. The heel of a shoe, with the toe wedged under the seat, makes a good improvised mast step. Do not secure the comers of the lower edge of the sail. Hold the lines attached to the comers with your hands so that a gust of wind will not rip the sail, break the mast, or capsize the raft.
Take every precaution to prevent the raft from turning over. In rough weather, keep the sea anchor away from the bow. Have the passengers sit low in the raft, with their weight distributed to hold the upwind side down. To prevent falling out, they should also avoid sitting on the sides of the raft or standing up. Avoid sudden movements without warning the other passengers. When the sea anchor is not in use, tie it to the raft and stow it in such a manner that it will hold immediately if the raft capsizes.
Water is your most important need. With it alone, you can live for ten days or longer, depending on your will to live. When drinking water, moisten your lips, tongue, and throat before swallowing.
Short Water Rations
When you have a limited water supply and you can't replace it by chemical or mechanical means, use the water efficiently. Protect freshwater supplies from seawater contamination. Keep your body well shaded, both from overhead sun and from reflection off the sea surface. Allow ventilation of air; dampen your clothes during the hottest part of the day. Do not exert yourself. Relax and sleep when possible. Fix your daily water ration after considering the amount of water you have, the output of solar stills and desalting kit, and the number and physical condition of your party.
If you don't have water, don't eat. If your water ration is two liters or more per day, eat any part of your ration or any additional food that you may catch, such as birds, fish, shrimp. The life raft's motion and anxiety may cause nausea. If you eat when nauseated, you may lose your food immediately. If nauseated, rest and relax as much as you can, and take only water.
To reduce your loss of water through perspiration, soak your clothes in the sea and wring them out before putting them on again. Don't overdo this during hot days when no canopy or sun shield is available. This is a trade-off between cooling and saltwater boils and rashes that will result. Be careful not to get the bottom of the raft wet.
Watch the clouds and be ready for any chance of showers. Keep the tarpaulin handy for catching water. If it is encrusted with dried salt, wash it in seawater. Normally, a small amount of seawater mixed with rain will hardly be noticeable and will not cause any physical reaction. In rough seas you cannot get uncontaminated fresh water.
At night, secure the tarpaulin like a sunshade, and turn up its edges to collect dew. It is also possible to collect dew along the sides of the raft using a sponge or cloth. When it rains, drink as much as you can hold.
When solar stills are available, read the instructions and set them up immediately. Use as many stills as possible, depending on the number of men in the raft and the amount of sunlight available. Secure solar stills to the raft with care. This type of solar still only works on flat, calm seas.
When desalting kits are available in addition to solar stills, use them only for immediate water needs or during long overcast periods when you cannot use solar stills. In any event, keep desalting kits and emergency water stores for periods when you cannot use solar stills or catch rainwater.
Water From Fish
Drink the aqueous fluid found along the spine and in the eyes of large fish. Carefully cut the fish in half to get the fluid along the spine and suck the eye. If you are so short of water that you need to do this, then do not drink any of the other body fluids. These other fluids are rich in protein and fat and will use up more of your reserve water in digestion than they supply.
In arctic waters, use old sea ice for water. This ice is bluish, has rounded comers, and splinters easily. It is nearly free of salt. New ice is gray, milky, hard, and salty. Water from icebergs is fresh, but icebergs are dangerous to approach. Use them as a source of water only in emergencies.
Do not drink seawater.
Do not drink urine.
Do not drink alcohol.
Do not smoke.
Do not eat, unless water is available.
Sleep and rest are the best ways of enduring periods of reduced water and food intake. However, make sure that you have enough shade when napping during the day. If the sea is rough, tie yourself to the raft, close any cover, and ride out the storm as best you can. Relax is the key word--at least try to relax.
In the open sea, fish will be the main food source. There are some poisonous and dangerous ocean fish, but, in general, when out of sight of land, fish are safe to eat. Nearer the shore there are fish that are both dangerous and poisonous to eat. There are some fish, such as the red snapper and barracuda, that are normally edible but poisonous when taken from the waters of atolls and reefs. Flying fish will even jump into your raft!
When fishing, do not handle the fishing line with bare hands and never wrap it around your hands or tie it to a life raft. The salt that adheres to it can make it a sharp cutting edge, an edge dangerous both to the raft and your hands. Wear gloves, if they are available, or use a cloth to handle fish and to avoid injury from sharp fins and gill covers.
In warm regions, gut and bleed fish immediately after catching them. Cut fish that you do not eat immediately into thin, narrow strips and hang them to dry. A well-dried fish stays edible for several days. Fish not cleaned and dried may spoil in half a day. Fish with dark meat are very prone to decomposition. If you do not eat them all immediately, do not eat any of the leftovers. Use the leftovers for bait.
Never eat fish that have pale, shiny gills, sunken eyes, flabby skin and flesh, or an unpleasant odor. Good fish show the opposite characteristics. Sea fish have a saltwater or clean fishy odor. Do not confuse eels with sea snakes that have an obviously scaly body and strongly compressed, paddle-shaped tail. Both eels and sea snakes are edible, but you must handle the latter with care because of their poisonous bites. The heart, blood, intestinal wall, and liver of most fish are edible. Cook the intestines. Also edible are the partly digested smaller fish that you may find in the stomachs of large fish. In addition, sea turtles are edible.
Shark meat is a good source of food whether raw, dried, or cooked. Shark meat spoils very rapidly due to the high concentration of urea in the blood, therefore, bleed it immediately and soak it in several changes of water. People prefer some shark species over others. Consider them all edible except the Greenland shark whose flesh contains high quantities of vitamin A. Do not eat the livers, due to high vitamin A content.
You can use different materials to make fishing aids as described in the following paragraphs:
Fishing line. Use pieces of tarpaulin or canvas. Unravel the threads and tie them together in short lengths in groups of three or more threads. Shoelaces and parachute suspension line also work well.
Fish hooks. No survivor at sea should be without fishing equipment but if you are, improvise hooks as shown in Chapter 8.
Fish lures. You can fashion lures by attaching a double hook to any shiny piece of metal.
Grapple. Use grapples to hook seaweed. You may shake crabs, shrimp, or small fish out of the seaweed. These you may eat or use for bait. You may eat seaweed itself, but only when you have plenty of drinking water. Improvise grapples from wood. Use a heavy piece of wood as the main shaft, and lash three smaller pieces to the shaft as grapples.
Bait. You can use small fish as bait for larger ones. Scoop the small fish up with a net. If you don't have a net, make one from cloth of some type. Hold the net under the water and scoop upward. Use all the guts from birds and fish for bait. When using bait, try to keep it moving in the water to give it the appearance of being alive.
Helpful Fishing Hints
Your fishing should be successful if you remember the following important hints:
Be extremely careful with fish that have teeth and spines.
Cut a large fish loose rather than risk capsizing the raft. Try to catch small rather than large fish.
Do not puncture your raft with hooks or other sharp instruments.
Do not fish when large sharks are in the area.
Watch for schools of fish; try to move close to these schools.
Fish at night using a light. The light attracts fish.
In the daytime, shade attracts some fish. You may find them under your raft.
Improvise a spear by tying a knife to an oar blade. This spear can help you catch larger fish, but you must get them into the raft quickly or they will slip off the blade. Also, tie the knife very securely or you may lose it.
Always take care of your fishing equipment. Dry your fishing lines, clean and sharpen the hooks, and do not allow the hooks to stick into the fishing lines.
As stated in Chapter 8, all birds are edible. Eat any birds you can catch. Sometimes birds may land on your raft, but usually they are cautious. You may be able to attract some birds by towing a bright piece of metal behind the raft. This will bring the bird within shooting range, provided you have a firearm.
If a bird lands within your reach, you may be able to catch it. If the birds do not land close enough or land on the other end of the raft, you may be able to catch them with a bird noose. Bait the center of the noose and wait for the bird to land. When the bird's feet are in the center of the noose, pull it tight.
Use all parts of the bird. Use the feathers for insulation, the entrails and feet for bait, and so on. Use your imagination.
Medical Problems Associated With Sea Survival
At sea, you may become seasick, get saltwater sores, or face some of the same medical problems that occur on land, such as dehydration or sunburn. These problems can become critical if left untreated.
Seasickness is the nausea and vomiting caused by the motion of the raft. It can result in--
Extreme fluid loss and exhaustion.
Loss of the will to survive.
Others becoming seasick.
Attraction of sharks to the raft.
To treat seasickness--
Wash both the patient and the raft to remove the sight and odor of vomit.
Keep the patient from eating food until his nausea is gone.
Have the patient lie down and rest.
Give the patient seasickness pills if available. If the patient is unable to take the pills orally, insert them rectally for absorption by the body.
Note: Some survivors have said that erecting a canopy or using the horizon as a focal point helped overcome seasickness. Others have said that swimming alongside the raft for short periods helped, but extreme care must be taken if swimming.
These sores result from a break in skin exposed to saltwater for an extended period. The sores may form scabs and pus. Do not open or drain. Flush the sores with fresh water, if available, and allow to dry. Apply an antiseptic, if available.
Immersion Rot, Frostbite, and Hypothermia
These problems are similar to those encountered in cold weather environments. Symptoms and treatment are the same as covered in Chapter 15.
If flame, smoke, or other contaminants get in the eyes, flush them immediately with salt water, then with fresh water, if available. Apply ointment, if available. Bandage both eyes 18 to 24 hours, or longer if damage is severe. If the glare from the sky and water causes your eyes to become bloodshot and inflamed, bandage them lightly. Try to prevent this problem by wearing sunglasses. Improvise sunglasses if necessary.
This condition is a common problem on a raft. Do not take a laxative, as this will cause further dehydration. Exercise as much as possible and drink an adequate amount of water, if available.
This problem is not unusual and is due mainly to dehydration. It is best not to treat it, as it could cause further dehydration.
Sunburn is a serious problem in sea survival. Try to prevent sunburn by staying in shade and keeping your head and skin covered. Use cream or Chap Stick from your first aid kit. Remember, reflection from the water also causes sunburn.
Whether you are in the water or in a boat or raft, you may see many types of sea life around you. Some may be more dangerous than others. Generally, sharks are the greatest danger to you. Other animals such as whales, porpoises, and stingrays may look dangerous, but really pose little threat in the open sea.
Of the many hundreds of shark species, only about 20 species are known to attack man. The most dangerous are the great white shark, the hammerhead, the mako, and the tiger shark. Other sharks known to attack man include the gray, blue, lemon, sand, nurse, bull, and oceanic white tip sharks. Consider any shark longer than 1 meter dangerous.
There are sharks in all oceans and seas of the world. While many live and feed in the depths of the sea, others hunt near the surface. The sharks living near the surface are the ones you will most likely see. Their dorsal fins frequently project above the water. Sharks in the tropical and subtropical seas are far more aggressive than those in temperate waters.
All sharks are basically eating machines. Their normal diet is live animals of any type, and they will strike at injured or helpless animals. Sight, smell, or sound may guide them to their prey. Sharks have an acute sense of smell and the smell of blood in the water excites them. They are also very sensitive to any abnormal vibrations in the water. The struggles of a wounded animal or swimmer, underwater explosions, or even a fish struggling on a fishline will attract a shark.
Sharks can bite from almost any position; they do not have to turn on their side to bite. The jaws of some of the larger sharks are so far forward that they can bite floating objects easily without twisting to the side.
Sharks may hunt alone, but most reports of attacks cite more than one shark present. The smaller sharks tend to travel in schools and attack in mass. Whenever one of the sharks finds a victim, the other sharks will quickly join it. Sharks will eat a wounded shark as quickly as their prey.
Sharks feed at all hours of the day and night. Most reported shark contacts and attacks were during daylight, and many of these have been in the late afternoon. Some of the measures that you can take to protect yourself against sharks when you are in the water are--
Stay with other swimmers. A group can maintain a 360-degree watch. A group can either frighten or fight off sharks better than one man.
Always watch for sharks. Keep all your clothing on, to include your shoes. Historically, sharks have attacked the unclothed men in groups first, mainly in the feet. Clothing also protects against abrasions should the shark brush against you.
Avoid urinating. If you must, only do so in small amounts. Let it dissipate between discharges. If you must defecate, do so in small amounts and throw it as far away from you as possible. Do the same if you must vomit.
If a shark attack is imminent while you are in the water, splash and yell just enough to keep the shark at bay. Sometimes yelling underwater or slapping the water repeatedly will scare the shark away. Conserve your strength for fighting in case the shark attacks.
If attacked, kick and strike the shark. Hit the shark on the gills or eyes if possible. If you hit the shark on the nose, you may injure your hand if it glances off and hits its teeth.
When you are in a raft and see sharks--
Do not fish. If you have hooked a fish, let it go. Do not clean fish in the water.
Do not throw garbage overboard.
Do not let your arms, legs, or equipment hang in the water.
Keep quiet and do not move around.
Bury all dead as soon as possible. If there are many sharks in the area, conduct the burial at night.
When you are in a raft and a shark attack is imminent, hit the shark with anything you have, except your hands. You will do more damage to your hands than the shark. If you strike with an oar, be careful not to lose or break it.
You should watch carefully for any signs of land. There are many indicators that land is near.
A fixed cumulus cloud in a clear sky or in a sky where all other clouds are moving often hovers over or slightly downwind from an island.
In the tropics, the reflection of sunlight from shallow lagoons or shelves of coral reefs often causes a greenish tint in the sky.
In the arctic, light-colored reflections on clouds often indicate ice fields or snow-covered land. These reflections are quite different from the dark gray ones caused by open water.
Deep water is dark green or dark blue. Lighter color indicates shallow water, which may mean land is near.
At night, or in fog, mist, or rain, you may detect land by odors and sounds. The musty odor of mangrove swamps and mud flats carry a long way. You hear the roar of surf long before you see the surf. The continued cries of seabirds coming from one direction indicate their roosting place on nearby land.
There usually are more birds near land than over the open sea. The direction from which flocks fly at dawn and to which they fly at dusk may indicate the direction of land. During the day, birds are searching for food and the direction of flight has no significance.
Mirages occur at any latitude, but they are more likely in the tropics, especially during the middle of the day. Be careful not to mistake a mirage for nearby land. A mirage disappears or its appearance and elevation change when viewed from slightly different heights.
You may be able to detect land by the pattern of the waves (refracted) as they approach land (Figure 16-20). By traveling with the waves and parallel to the slightly turbulent area marked "X" on the illustration, you should reach land.
Rafting or Beaching Techniques
Once you have found land, you must get ashore safely. To raft ashore, you can usually use the one-man raft without danger. However, going ashore in a strong surf is dangerous. Take your time. Select your landing point carefully. Try not to land when the sun is low and straight in front of you. Try to land on the lee side of an island or on a point of land jutting out into the water. Keep your eyes open for gaps in the surf line, and head for them. Avoid coral reefs and rocky cliffs. There are no coral reefs near the mouths of freshwater streams. Avoid rip currents or strong tidal currents that may carry you far out to sea. Either signal ashore for help or sail around and look for a sloping beach where the surf is gentle.
If you have to go through the surf to reach shore, take down the mast. Keep your clothes and shoes on to avoid severe cuts. Adjust and inflate your life vest. Trail the sea anchor over the stem using as much line as you have. Use the oars or paddles and constantly adjust the sea anchor to keep a strain on the anchor line. These actions will keep the raft pointed toward shore and prevent the sea from throwing the stern around and capsizing you. Use the oars or paddles to help ride in on the seaward side of a large wave.
The surf may be irregular and velocity may vary, so modify your procedure as conditions demand. A good method of getting through the surf is to have half the men sit on one side of the raft, half on the other, facing away from each other. When a heavy sea bears down, half should row (pull) toward the sea until the crest passes; then the other half should row (pull) toward the shore until the next heavy sea comes along.
Against a strong wind and heavy surf, the raft must have all possible speed to pass rapidly through the oncoming crest to avoid being turned broadside or thrown end over end. If possible, avoid meeting a large wave at the moment it breaks.
If in a medium surf with no wind or offshore wind, keep the raft from passing over a wave so rapidly that it drops suddenly after topping the crest. If the raft turns over in the surf, try to grab hold of it and ride it in.
As the raft nears the beach, ride in on the crest of a large wave. Paddle or row hard and ride in to the beach as far as you can. Do not jump out of the raft until it has grounded, then quickly get out and beach it.
If you have a choice, do not land at night. If you have reason to believe that people live on the shore, lay away from the beach, signal, and wait for the inhabitants to come out and bring you in.
If you encounter sea ice, land only on large, stable floes. Avoid icebergs that may capsize and small floes or those obviously disintegrating. Use oars and hands to keep the raft from rubbing on the edge of the ice. Take the raft out of the water and store it well back from the floe's edge. You may be able to use it for shelter. Keep the raft inflated and ready for use. Any floe may break up without warning.
If rafting ashore is not possible and you have to swim, wear your shoes and at least one thickness of clothing. Use the sidestroke or breaststroke to conserve strength.
If the surf is moderate, ride in on the back of a small wave by swimming forward with it. Dive to a shallow depth to end the ride just before the wave breaks.
In high surf, swim toward shore in the trough between waves. When the seaward wave approaches, face it and submerge. After it passes, work toward shore in the next trough. If caught in the undertow of a large wave, push off the bottom or swim to the surface and proceed toward shore as above.
If you must land on a rocky shore, look for a place where the waves rush up onto the rocks. Avoid places where the waves explode with a high, white spray. Swim slowly when making your approach. You will need your strength to hold on to the rocks. You should be fully clothed and wear shoes to reduce injury.
After selecting your landing point, advance behind a large wave into the breakers. Face toward shore and take a sitting position with your feet in front, 60 to 90 centimeters (2 or 3 feet) lower than your head. This position will let your feet absorb the shock when you land or strike sub-merged boulders or reefs. If you do not reach shore behind the wave you picked, swim with your hands only. As the next wave approaches, take a sitting position with your feet forward. Repeat the procedure until you land.
Water is quieter in the lee of a heavy growth of seaweed. Take advantage of such growth. Do not swim through the seaweed; crawl over the top by grasping the vegetation with overhand movements.
Cross a rocky or coral reef as you would land on a rocky shore. Keep your feet close together and your knees slightly bent in a relaxed sitting posture to cushion the blows against the coral.
Pickup or Rescue
On sighting rescue craft approaching for pickup (boat, ship, conventional aircraft, or helicopter), quickly clear any lines (fishing lines, desalting kit lines) or other gear that could cause entanglement during rescue. Secure all loose items in the raft. Take down canopies and sails to ensure a safer pickup. After securing all items, put on your helmet, if available. Fully inflate your life preserver. Remain in the raft, unless otherwise instructed, and remove all equipment except the preservers. If possible, you will receive help from rescue personnel lowered into the water. Remember, follow all instructions given by the rescue personnel.
If the helicopter recovery is unassisted, do the following before pickup:
Secure all the loose equipment in the raft, accessory bag, or in pockets.
Deploy the sea anchor, stability bags, and accessory bag.
Partially deflate the raft and fill it with water.
Unsnap the survival kit container from the parachute harness.
Grasp the raft handhold and roll out of the raft.
Allow the recovery device or the cable to ground out on the water's surface.
Maintain the handhold until the recovery device is in your other hand.
Mount the recovery device, avoiding entanglement with the raft.
Signal the hoist operator for pickup.
Search planes or ships do not always spot a drifting raft or swimmer. You may have to land along the coast before being rescued. Surviving along the seashore is different from open sea survival. Food and water are more abundant and shelter is obviously easier to locate and construct.
If you are in friendly territory and decide to travel, it is better to move along the coast than to go inland. Do not leave the coast except to avoid obstacles (swamps and cliffs) or unless you find a trail that you know leads to human habitation.
In time of war, remember that the enemy patrols most coastlines. These patrols may cause problems for you if you land on a hostile shore. You will have extremely limited travel options in this situation. Avoid all contact with other humans, and make every effort to cover all tracks you leave on the shore.
Special Health Hazards
Coral, poisonous and aggressive fish, crocodiles, sea urchins, sea biscuits, sponges, anemones, and tides and undertow pose special health hazards.
Coral, dead or alive, can inflict painful cuts. There are hundreds of water hazards that can cause deep puncture wounds, severe bleeding, and the danger of infection. Clean all coral cuts thoroughly. Do not use iodine to disinfect any coral cuts. Some coral polyps feed on iodine and may grow inside your flesh if you use iodine.
Many reef fish have toxic flesh. For some species, the flesh is always poisonous, for other species, only at certain times of the year. The poisons are present in all parts of the fish, but especially in the liver, intestines, and eggs.
Fish toxins are water soluble--no amount of cooking will neutralize them. They are tasteless, therefore the standard edibility tests are use-less. Birds are least susceptible to the poisons. Therefore, do not think that because a bird can eat a fish, it is a safe species for you to eat.
The toxins will produce a numbness of the lips, tongue, toes, and tips of the fingers, severe itching, and a clear reversal of temperature sensations. Cold items appear hot and hot items cold. There will probably also be nausea, vomiting, loss of speech, dizziness, and a paralysis that eventually brings death.
In addition to fish with poisonous flesh, there are those that are dangerous to touch. Many stingrays have a poisonous barb in their tail. There are also species that can deliver an electric shock. Some reef fish, such as stonefish and toadfish, have venomous spines that can cause very painful although seldom fatal injuries. The venom from these spines causes a burning sensation or even an agonizing pain that is out of proportion to the apparent severity of the wound. Jellyfish, while not usually fatal, can inflict a very painful sting if it touches you with its tentacles. See Chapter 11 and Appendix F for details on particularly dangerous fish of the sea and seashore.
You should also avoid some ferocious fish. The bold and inquisitive barracuda has attacked men wearing shiny objects. It may charge lights or shiny objects at night. The sea bass, which can grow to 1.7 meters, is another fish to avoid. The moray eel, which has many sharp teeth and grows to 1.5 meters, can also be aggressive if disturbed.
Sea snakes are venomous and sometimes found in mid ocean. They are unlikely to bite unless provoked. Avoid them.
Crocodiles inhabit tropical saltwater bays and mangrove-bordered estuaries and range up to 65 kilometers into the open sea. Few remain near inhabited areas. You commonly find crocodiles in the remote areas of the East Indies and Southeast Asia. Consider specimens over 1 meter long dangerous, especially females guarding their nests. Crocodile meat is an excellent source of food when available.
Sea Urchins, Sea Biscuits, Sponges, and Anemones
These animals can cause extreme, though seldom fatal, pain. Usually found in tropical shallow water near coral formations, sea urchins resemble small, round porcupines. If stepped on, they slip fine needles of lime or silica into the skin, where they break off and fester. If possible, remove the spines and treat the injury for infection. The other animals mentioned inflict injury similarly.
Tides and Undertow
These are another hazard to contend with. If caught in a large wave's undertow, push off the bottom or swim to the surface and proceed shoreward in a trough between waves. Do not fight against the pull of the undertow. Swim with it or perpendicular to it until it loses strength, then swim for shore.
Obtaining food along a seashore should not present a problem. There are many types of seaweed and other plants you can easily find and eat. See Chapter 9 and Appendix B for a discussion of these plants.
There is a great variety of animal life that can supply your need for food in this type of survival situation.
Mussels, limpets, clams, sea snails, octopuses, squids, and sea slugs are all edible. Shellfish will usually supply most of the protein eaten by coastal survivors. Avoid the blue-ringed octopus and cone shells (described in Chapter 11 and Appendix F). Also beware of "red tides" that make mollusks poisonous. Apply the edibility test on each species before eating.
Coastal worms are generally edible, but it is better to use them for fish bait. Avoid bristle worms that look like fuzzy caterpillars. Also avoid tubeworms that have sharp-edged tubes. Arrowworms, alias amphioxus, are not true worms. You find them in the sand and are excellent either fresh or dried.
Crabs, Lobsters, and Barnacles
These animals are seldom dangerous to man and are an excellent food source. The pincers of larger crabs or lobsters can crush a man's finger. Many species have spines on their shells, making it preferable to wear gloves when catching them. Barnacles can cause scrapes or cuts and are difficult to detach from their anchor, but the larger species are an excellent food source.
These are common and can cause painful injuries when stepped on or touched. They are also a good source of food. Handle them with gloves, and remove all spines.
This animal is an important food source in the Indo-Pacific regions. Use them whole after evisceration or remove the five muscular strips that run the length of its body. Eat them smoked, pickled, or cooked.