Sailors have long been known for their incredible tales of survival and bravery in the face of the fiercest storms at sea. Here are 2 crazy survival stories of brave sailors who battled the elements and lived to tell the tale.
The Mignonette set sail from England in May of 1884, bound for Australia. The crew consisted of four men. On July 5th, the ship was hit by a storm and began taking on water. The crew managed to launch a lifeboat and salvage some provisions, but they were adrift in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with little hope of rescue.
For the first several days, the crew managed to survive on the meager provisions they had salvaged. On the 19th day of their ordeal, they drew lots to decide who would be sacrificed for food, and Richard Parker was chosen.
The three remaining crew members consumed Parker's flesh and blood for four days before they were rescued by a passing German ship. The men were eventually brought to trial in England for murder, but they were able to argue that they had acted out of necessity in order to survive. Captain Dudley and Stephens were found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to six months in prison, while Brooks was acquitted.
The James Caird
The expedition began in August of 1914 when Ernest Shackleton and his crew of 28 men set out from England on the Endurance with the goal of crossing the Antarctic continent. However, their ship became trapped in pack ice just a few months into the journey, and over the course of several months, it was slowly crushed by the ice and eventually sank.
Shackleton and his crew were forced to camp on the ice for several months before they were able to launch their lifeboats and make their way to a small, uninhabited island called Elephant Island. They set up a makeshift camp there and waited for rescue, but Shackleton realized that their best chance of survival was to make a dangerous journey across the open sea to South Georgia Island, which was over 800 miles away.
In April of 1916, Shackleton and five of his crew set out in a 22.5-foot lifeboat called the James Caird on a perilous journey across the rough waters of the Southern Ocean. The journey took over two weeks, during which the crew endured extreme cold, rough seas, and the constant threat of capsizing.
After arriving on South Georgia Island, Shackleton and two of his crew made a grueling trek across the island's rugged terrain to reach a whaling station. From there, they organized a rescue mission to Elephant Island, and eventually, all of the remaining crew members were rescued.
These stories demonstrate the incredible resilience and determination of sailors facing the most extreme conditions at sea. They serve as a reminder of the power and unpredictability of nature, and the bravery of those who choose to explore it.
These events have been proven to be a key inspiration for film producers. The most famous example is probably the iconic film: Titanic. However, there are many more that you might not know about yet. That's why we created a list of all the great survival movies so you don't have to! Discover our recommendations and enjoy a night on the couch!
After hearing these stories you might wonder what you would, or should, do in this sort of situations. No worries, Neptuno offers the perfect opportunity to guide you trough all the different types of safety protocols. Expand your knowledge in what to do in emergency situations with Neptuno’s assortment of extensive RYA sailing courses and safety trainings.