Press Releases

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL TESTS THE LIMITS OF HUMAN ENDURANCE IN NEW SOCIAL EXPERIMENT SERIES THE RAFT

  • Domestic
  • International

TWO STRANGERS, ADRIFT ON A LIFE RAFT
WITH NO FOOD OR WATER.
THERE IS NO PRIZE — ONLY SURVIVAL.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL TESTS THE LIMITS OF
HUMAN ENDURANCE IN NEW SOCIAL EXPERIMENT SERIES
THE RAFT

The Raft Premieres Sunday, April 5, at 10 PM ET/9 PM CT
on National Geographic Channel

(Washington, D.C. – March 26, 2015) A shipwreck leaves you and a partner stranded on a life raft with no food or water. Can you endure the scorching sunlight, violent waves, potential predators and lack of nourishment long enough to make it to land? Or will you succumb to the elements? National Geographic Channel puts ocean survival to the ultimate test in the new social experiment series The Raft, premiering Sunday, April 5, at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT. For more information, visit natgeotv.com and follow us on Twitter at @NGC_PR.

Each week, two pairs of strangers on two separate boats are dropped in the Bermuda Triangle, hundreds of miles apart. Their goal: Survive for one week adrift in a life raft, crossing miles and miles of endless ocean, until they reach land. Three mounted cameras, a journal cam and a single crew member — instructed not to interact — document their journey. Each raft is equipped with only a small bag of basic survival tools, and the teammates must work together to make the most of what they’re given.

For the shipwrecked, survival isn’t dependent on individual persistence and determination alone. With two people in the raft, they control each other’s fate. And in some cases, the raft mate can be as challenging as Mother Nature. No matter their backgrounds — former NFL player, travel writer, lobsterman, former police officer, professional wrestler — battling the ocean is grueling and potentially fatal. There are only two ways off the raft: Endure the elements and reach land, or tap out by calling the mother ship from the emergency radio. If one person quits, both are out. There’s no prize, only survival of the body — and mind — on The Raft.

Premiere Episodes Include:

The Raft: Bump in the Night
Premieres Sunday, April 5, at 10 PM ET/PT

Stranded in the Bermuda Triangle, two sets of strangers adrift on life rafts endure the elements in a grueling test of survival. On the yellow raft, travel writer Payge and her partner Rich, a lobsterman, must deal with a shipwreck survivor’s worst nightmare: an aggressive band of sharks. And when Rich becomes crippled by dehydration, Payge is left alone to fight for their survival. On the orange raft, it becomes clear that scoutmaster Chad and cruise ship singer Stephanie aren’t cut out for water survival. Chad has never been to the ocean, and Stephanie’s experience is limited to cruise liners. Their luck seems to be running thin, and it only gets worse when Chad discovers a crucial valve in their water desalinator is missing, leaving them without a method of making fresh water.

The Raft: Shark Bait
Premieres Sunday, April 12, at 10 PM ET/PT
With no food, no water and the elements taking their toll on them, two sets of strangers fight for survival on the open seas. On the yellow raft, biologist Will and lobster fisherman Danielle quickly learn they’re polar opposites and struggle to get along. With the sun beating down and starvation setting in, tempers flare, and the duo must find a way to survive the elements … and each other. On the orange raft, former Marine Mark is teamed up with former Peace Corps volunteer Sara. Mark, who lost his legs to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, pleads with Sara not to fish because he fears it will attract sharks. Sara ignores his wishes and throws in a line, and within hours, a hungry shark surfaces. Startled and afraid, the team abstains from fishing. But with no food to fuel them, their days on the raft are numbered.

The Raft: Boiling Point
Premieres Sunday, April 19, at 10 PM ET/PT

The threatening waters of the Bermuda Triangle are not to be taken lightly — and for two teams stranded at sea on life rafts, the company can be just as challenging as the elements. On the yellow raft, professional wrestler Janeshia meets her partner, fish and game warden Rod.  Things are going well for the unlikely duo, until a dispute over their blanket on a cold night drives a stake between them. With days to go, neither will speak to the other. Can two strangers survive on a raft in complete silence? Meanwhile, on the orange raft, Harvard businessman Chris teams up with professional free diver Mark. Mark is a trained spear fisherman who can hold his breath underwater for up to six minutes. Armed with a makeshift pole spear, he puts his skills to the test. Unfortunately, days of repeated dives produce no fish. To make matters worse, Mark sustains a water pressure injury to his inner ear. With a partner on the verge of collapse, it’s up to Chris, the inexperienced waterman, to keep his teammate in the challenge.

The Raft: To the Bone
Premieres Sunday, April 26, at 10 PM ET/PT

Surviving for days on the open ocean is a life-threatening challenge — no matter your background. On the yellow raft, former NFL linebacker David and former police officer Jackie appear to be a promising team. But when the elements become unmanageable for Jackie, she considers tapping out. To sustain his team, David puts all of his energy into catching a fish, but the athlete’s body soon wears down and he finds himself flailing for his life in the open ocean. On the orange raft, professional sailor Ceci is teamed up with a true fish out of water, Dan, whose experience is limited to boat parties. Ceci soon comes through for her raft mate, catching and gutting a triggerfish, and the duo decides to make a fire to cook their catch. But while Dan lights the fire, Ceci cuts open her finger. With the fire burning out of control and Ceci’s finger gushing blood, the orange raft faces serious peril. 

The Raft: Don’t Surrender
Premieres Sunday, May 3, at 10 PM ET/PT

The open sea is not for the faint of heart; it’s a true test of strength — both physically and emotionally. Professional fisherman Aaron and wildlife wrangler Carter, adrift on the yellow raft, have vastly different approaches to survival, and the two men clash over their different strategies. To make matters worse, just three days in, they discover their water desalinator is completely broken. Stranded without a way to make fresh water, can the southerners reach land before their bodies break down? On the orange raft, Jordan and Vanessa, a young couple, embark on the ultimate test of their relationship. The pair gets off to a rough start, with both experiencing seasickness as they struggle to catch a fish. Frustrations build, emotions get heated and the duo soon questions their reasons for taking on the challenge. With blame thrown back and forth, the couple fights to maintain their composure … and their relationship. 

The Raft: Night Terror
Premieres Sunday, May 10, at 10 PM ET/PT

What do you do when all that stands between you and a shark is a rubber raft? Two teams face off against the open ocean and its underwater predators. On raft one, champion catfish noodler Don meets his partner, flight attendant Rebecca. Rebecca’s worst fear is to go down with her plane and wind up stranded on a life raft. Now, she’s living out that nightmare. By day, the team fares well, but the nights are terrifying. On the first night, Rebecca awakes to the feeling of something bumping the bottom of the raft — sharks! Will Don be able to convince his hysterical partner to stay on the raft? On raft two, boat captain Justin and shark wrangler Elliot bring years of experience on the water. Early on, the pair finds success when they snag a small triggerfish. But as expert fishermen, they believe they can do better, so they throw the fish back. Hours, and then days, later, they still don’t have anything else on the line, and they’re starving. Did they make a disastrous mistake?

THE RAFT is produced by Brian Catalina Entertainment in association with Electus, LLC for National Geographic Channels. For Brian Catalina Entertainment, executive producer is Brian Catalina. For National Geographic Channel, executive producer is Robert Palumbo, vice president of production and development is Matt Renner, and president of original programming and production is Tim Pastore.

# # #
About National Geographic Channel
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation’s major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in over 85 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com.

MEDIA CONTACT
Julie Frazier, National Geographic Channel, (212) 378-1975, jfrazier@natgeotv.com