The Cruel Sea is a recurring challenge of Survivor.
One person from each tribe will swim out, then race up a platform, dive into the water, retrieve a ring, and bring it back. The next person from the tribe will then do the same. Once a tribe has collected all their rings, two tribe members will attempt to land those rings on posts. The first tribe to finish wins.
The challenge debuted in San Juan del Sur as an Immunity Challenge, where one person from each tribe swam out to collect one of four rings. The two remaining members must then attempt to land all four rings on posts. Although the tribes were relatively even collecting their rings, Drew Christy hatched a plan to throw the challenge for Hunahpu, allowing Coyopa to win their first Immunity Challenge and send Hunahpu to Tribal Council.
The challenge reappeared in Ghost Island, again as an Immunity Challenge. Two members from each tribe swam out to collect a bundle of three rings. Once both bundles have been retrieved, the entire tribe must swim out, where two members must attempt to land all six rings on posts. While Yanuya came in first handily, a close race ensued between the Malolo and Naviti tribes. Ultimately, Malolo pulled out a narrow victory, sending Naviti to Tribal Council.
| San Juan del Sur|
"We're a Hot Mess"
"Gotta Risk It for the Biscuit"
- An orange tribe has won this challenge both times it has appeared.