This interactive site gives you a taste of what it’s like to drown

[From Fast Company’s Co.Create, where the post includes a 1:01 minute video]

A Trip Out To Sea screenshot

This Interactive Site Gives You A Taste Of What It’s Like To Drown

By Jeff Beer
April 22, 2014

French marine clothing and safety brand Guy Cotten takes the scared straight approach to life jacket awareness.

Summer is approaching and with it the migration of millions of people to the coast to enjoy the sun and the sea. Guy Cotten, a French marine clothing and safety equipment brand, is taking the opportunity to dramatically remind us that when it comes to boating, a life jacket is necessary no matter how strong a swimmer you might be.

The brand, along with agency CLM BBDO, Wanda Digital and director Ben Strebel, have created A Trip Out To Sea, an immersive interactive experience that plays out a truly nightmarish scenario.

What starts out as a leisurely sail boat trip, quickly turns into a life or death situation when a passenger is knocked overboard and you are given a first-person POV. As time passes, your only chance of survival is to scroll continuously, to mimic the physical and psychological exhaustion of the situation. As your scrolling slows from fatigue (or impatience), the victim eventually gives up and drowns, revealing the tagline, “At sea, you tire faster than you think. Whenever you go out to sea, wear your lifejacket.”

Not only does it make you think twice about ditching the life jacket, it also reminds you to perhaps not go boating alone with some dude who doesn’t know how to steer a boat.

Experience it here.


4 responses to “This interactive site gives you a taste of what it’s like to drown”

  1. Justin Gallagher

    This is a very important lesson for people to abide by and I think the first-person POV really enhances the overall importance of the message. It seems very real, and the viewer definitely gets a feel of the actualities of drowning at sea. I think this video works very well as a reminder for people to wear life jackets.

  2. Ross Schwartz

    This actually had me scared for a bit! I noticed myself starting to breathe rather quickly after a couple minutes “at sea.” I was frantically pressing the up arrow, just like I’d be flailing if that was me drowning without a lifejacket. After those couple of minutes, I thought I should slow down to not tire out, but that proved to be a mistake and I drowned after 2:45. I tried to stay afloat and survive for a second time and I lasted 5:42 before drowning. The sequence shown at the end before officially dying underwater, was really creative, showing all of these memories at high-speed. The sequence changed between my first and second attempt. The vision of a boat coming to rescue was a nice touch too! The first-person point of view (especially in full-screen) and the sound effects (underwater sounds, going back and forth between being above and below the surface) definitely made the experience immersive.

  3. Basem Istanbouli

    This was honestly extremely horrifying for me. I have been a victim of drowning (didn’t drown, because if I did I wouldn’t be here), but it definitely had a large impact on me. I couldn’t help but realize that even when the video itself was lagging, I still felt as if I had the person’s life in my hands. I guess that also might’ve been because the scroll bar would still fall even when it was lagging, nonetheless, I still felt a deep connection even when I wasn’t connected frame-by-frame. Another thing is I couldn’t let the guy drown, so instead of letting him drown, I ended up exiting from the screen, but I realize that if this was real-life, I wouldn’t necessarily be able to “unplug”, per se. Definitely made the whole thing way more immersive than I needed it to be, lol.

  4. Michael Ryan Mooney

    This shows a logical way to teach water safety to people. Scare the living daylights out of them! It is true that we are a reactionary society, so this serves as a good way to show the horrors of drowning and realize that wearing a life jacket isn’t such a bad idea and maybe it can save your life. Maybe the next step is to do a virtual reality version with a life jacket on, so people can actually compare and see how vital life jackets are.

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