After FedEx systems engineer Chuck Noland is ripped out of his hasty life by the clock in a plane crash, he finds himself alone on the shores of a tropical island. First, frustration gets to him and then he realizes how little his chances are to ever get back to civilization. Four years later, Chuck has learned very well how to survive on his own: mending his dental health, catching fish with a spear, predicting the weather with a self-made calendar. A photograph of his girlfriend Kelly has kept his hopes alive all these years. Finally, Chuck takes the opportunity to take off for home: He sets off on a wooden raft with a sail that has washed ashore.