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50-50-50 Rules

The interesting thing about the 50-50-50 "rules" is that someone just made them up out of thin air. There's absolutely no research to support any of them. - Moulton Avery

Four Popular Versions:

Probable Origin

Golden & Tipton suggest that 50-50-50 rules got their start when someone misinterpreted the 50% "marginal zone" survival curve published by Barnett in 1962.

[The 50% Survival Curve] has been mistakenly taken to represent the time at which an individual would have a 50-50 chance of survival rather than the survival time of 50% of individuals. Furthermore, people often forget that this time theoretically exceeds the survival time of 50% of the individuals. --Golden & Tipton - Essentials of Sea Survival