Keel Hauling is an individual physical water-based challenge that originated in Survivor: Pearl Islands, and was reused in Survivor: Caramoan.


In Pearl Islands, The contestants are divided into heats. In the first round, contestants race across a pontoon and dive into the water. Using a rope suspended beneath the platform, they pull themselves, underwater, to the other end. Upon climbing back onto the platform they must jump back in the water and do it again. The first two contestants to complete two laps move on to the final heat. In the final heat, the castaway had to do five laps and upon surfacing, they must transfer a medallion from one side of the platform to another, one key at a time. The first person to transfer all their five keys to the other side of the platform wins immunity.

In Caramoan, they do the same thing but move a ring from one end of the pontoon to the other. The first two contestants from each heat to move two rings move onto the final round, where five laps are undertaken. The first castaway to move all five rings wins the challenge.


The challenge debuted in Survivor: Pearl Islands as the first individual Immunity Challenge after the merge. Burton Roberts, newly returned to the game following the Outcasts twist, won the challenge and immunity, beating Rupert Boneham by a hair. As The Outcasts twist gave him immunity at his first Tribal Council upon returning to the game, he gave immunity to Rupert.

The challenge did not appear again until Survivor: Caramoan. Notably, Phillip Sheppard elected not to compete in the challenge, becoming the first contestant to forfeit an Immunity Challenge without an added incentive. Andrea Boehlke, Brenda Lowe, Malcolm Freberg, and Reynold Toepfer made the final heat, with Reynold ultimately winning immunity.


Episode Challenge Type Winners
Pearl Islands
"What the...? (Part 2)"
Individual Immunity S7 burton t
Burton Roberts
"Zipping Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
Individual Immunity S26 reynold t
Reynold Toepfer



  • This challenge has only been used at the Final Ten.
  • Only men have won this challenge.
  • This is the first individual Immunity Challenge where a castaway willingly chose to sit out without being bribed with an incentive of any kind.
  • The name of this challenge likely references keelhauling, a form of punishment where sailors would be tied to a rope looped around a ship, thrown overboard, and then dragged under the ship's keel, either from port to starboard or bow to stern.


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