A collection of shipwrecks around the world.
How to Survive a Shipwreck
by Charles W. Bryant
Browse the article How to Survive a Shipwreck
How to Survive a Shipwreck
Gilligan’s Island gang
CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images
Gilligan, the Skipper and the Professor attempt to use a CB radio in front of their shipwrecked SS Minnow on ‘Gilligan’s Island.’
The popular 1960s television show “Gilligan’s Island” makes you wonder why anyone would want to get rescued from a desert island shipwreck — what’s not to like about being stranded with a movie star? Unfortunately, a real-life shipwreck is no sitcom.
Each year there are stories of people that survive being lost at sea. Some manage to make it to an island; some stay adrift in dinghies or on life rafts for days, weeks and even months. If you find yourself the victim of a shipwreck, there are steps you can take to increase your odds of survival and ultimately, rescue. It’s impossible to know for sure how many shipwrecks there have been throughout history, but Northern Maritime Research has compiled a list of more than 100,000 over the past 400 years [source: NMR].
When it comes to surviving a shipwreck, there are two scenarios: You can either be adrift at sea or alone on an island. The island scenario is more desirable in many ways, as you have more of a chance at finding food and water. You also have the benefit of making fire and finding shelter. The drawback of being on an island is that you aren’t moving. Being in a dinghy or life raft gives you a better chance of being seen by a plane or another boat, or drifting to an inhabited island.
In this article, we’ll teach you some tips on how to survive being lost at sea as well as things you can do once you’ve hit land.
One of the most famous beach in Greece, Navagio takes it decidedly unhellenic name from the shipwreck that lies upon it. It seems in the very early nineteen eighties the ship was in a desperate rush to escape some Greek Navy ships that were dogging it. The words smuggling and cigarettes are bandied about as to the reasons for this need to flee. However, the ship ran in to some stormy weather, was abandoned by its amateur crew and landed up where it is today. It, like many other wrecks, has become a popular tourist destination but it is only accessible by boat, ironically.
Cape Verde has had many shipwrecks in its history and although this is a recent one it is still a poignant reminder of our mortality. If you are more interested in what is found in shipwrecks rather than the wrecks themselves then you could do worse than visit the capital of Praia. It is host to a marine archaeology museum which documents the variety of wrecks that have happened around the island since the fifteenth century.
Cyclone Uma had many victims and this ship was one of them. It ran aground when the cyclone hit the islands of Vanuatu in the nineteen eighties. Since then it has remained on the reef – eventually becoming a popular tourist attraction. The Republic of Vanuatu is in the South Pacific Ocean consisting of eighty two islands (and counting). Sixty five of them are inhabited. It is used as a tax haven by many rich Australians, even thought the Australian government is leaning on Vanuatu to be more transparent in their financial dealings.
In August 2001 the Bulk Carrier Windoc was lined up on the Welland Canal’s Bridge 11 in Ontario Canada. After recieving the flashing amber approach light indicating that the bridge operator was aware of the vessel the captain lined up on the centerline and maintained a speed of 5 knots. Minutes later while the vessel was half way through the bridge started descending.