Steve Callahan | Survived Being Adrift At Sea for 76 Days

in January of 1982 Steven callahan was attempting to sail alone across the Atlantic Ocean and his handmade sloop the Napoleon solo prophetically named after the resourceful American agent from the TV show The Man From UNCLE my name is Napoleon solo during a midnight storm something punched a massive hole in his boat flooding it with water and forcing him to grab what little supplies he could and board a life raft Callahan spent a mind-boggling 76 days stranded alone in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean here’s the incredible story of how he survived but before we start do everyone here a favor and subscribe to the weird History Channel and leave us some tasteful and lovely comments below Steven Callahan a boat designer in writer was attempting to sail across the Atlantic Ocean on a solo trip when a whale struck his boat Callahan sloop st. quickly and he was frantically trying to inflate his life raft at the same time so we had to grab what supplies he could with almost no time to think imagine trying to pack the family station wagon for a long road trip while your house is burning down in fact Callahan had a diagon into his sunken boat in order to retrieve some crucial items including fishing line a water purifier and a spear gun to make things worse he couldn’t see anything he had to locate everything underwater by memory for food all he managed to grab was some peanuts and raisins baked beans eggs cabbage corn beef and 8 ounces of water even with the strictest rationing his supplies wouldn’t last more than two and a half weeks Callahan had to rely on old-fashioned navigational techniques to try and get rescued he built a device called a Sexton a tool that measures the distance between the horizon and celestial objects like stars and planets to roughly estimate where he was and where he should steer his raft using the North Star as his guide Callahan aimed his raft towards the West Indies eventually made it to land but the journey took much much longer than he initially anticipated nothing like taking the old scenic route in order to survive over two months stranded alone at sea Callahan split his personality into two different characters the captain and the crewman honestly that makes a lot of sense considering I have two that two personalities just to decide if I look fat in my new sweater I dumped by the way the captain would make tough decisions and shout out orders for the crewmen to follow which helped keep Callahan from panicking while maintaining control of his traumatic situation the two didn’t always agree though for example callaghan’s journals revealed that the captain and the crewmen got into a heated argument over how to use a water ration after so many weeks adrift at sea Callahan’s raft eventually became its own mobile ecosystem a colony of barnacles began to grow on the bottom which attracted schools of Dorado fish which Callahan had caught himself to eat the fish were such constant features that Callahan began to think of them as as doggies even drew to recognize individual fish but hopefully he didn’t name any of them as that would have made catching and eating them a little awkward unfortunately the Dorado fish also attracted sharks who would continuously circle Callahans raft as a constant reminder it wasn’t the only thing out there trying to catch food even though he managed to pull a purifier out of a sinking boat the purifier turned out to be ineffective at converting seawater so he had to come up with a different method of gathering drinkable water Callahan rigged a system of balloons and tarps to catch rainwater and while it only yielded about 20 ounces of drinking water a day slightly more than a single Dasani bottle it was enough to keep him alive for 76 days you might think one of those loitering sharks would have eventually grown tired of the waiting game and popped callaghan’s raft but it was actually one of the smaller Dorado fish that nearly sunk him as it was fishing one day one of the dourados ripped a hole in the bottom of his raft no matter how many times he patched the rip he would blow back open every time he tried to remain flate the boat were there finally after a week of dangerous weather and performing rushed repairs with his arms underwater in the middle of a closing ring of sharks he finally fixed the raft if you remember the film castaway Tom Hanks character was saved by the first shipping tanker that pass by has barely lashed together raft that wasn’t the case but Callahan during his 76 day ordeal no less than seven ships passed within his view two of which were less than a mile away Callahan desperately tried to signal them with a flare gun in an emergency radio beacon but all his attempts failed it wasn’t until he ran across some friendly fishermen off the coast of the Caribbean island of Moorea Galante that he was finally rescued [Music] luckily Callahan was able to fight off totally starvation thanks to the fishing line he’d managed to salvage but he was battling severe malnourished meant during his ordeal by the time his rescued Steven had lost 40 pounds a third of his body weight the hunger wasn’t the worst of it the constant exposure to the Sun and sea water actually caused his skin to slide off his body leaving uncovered in painful open sores and us with a solemn promise to never complain about anything ever again unless our skin was simultaneously sliding off our bodies [Music] callaghan’s ordeal being stranded for over two months alone at sea made him something of an expert at ocean survival so director Angley contacted him to act as an advisor on the film Life of Pi the film deals with the journey of a young boy trapped on a seaborne raft with an adult tiger and while Callahan praised the movie for being so realistic that it was hard for him to watch we can’t help but wonder whether or not he pointed out to the filmmakers that the presence of a 300-pound tiger on a raft would have forced him to tweak his survival tactics after recovering from his traumatic experience Callahan decided to use what he learned while being stranded at sea to develop a design for a better life raft which he dubbed the clam Callahan designed the clan to be a utility raft with a canopy to both protect against long exposure to the Sun and collect rainwater for drinking as well as a fiberglass floor it would be immune to terrors from reckless fish in 1986 callahan wrote a memoir titled adrift 76 days lost at sea which is a story about him being adrift for 76 days lost at sea it detailed his incredible struggle to survive in unforgettable detail the book was so popular that it remained on the New York Times bestseller list for several weeks despite ferocious competition from the Top Gun novelization callaghan’s memoir was adapted for television by the documentary series I shouldn’t be alive which focuses on people who shouldn’t be alive the series retells their stories through interviews and reenactments Callahans episode was called 76 days adrift in an aired on November 17th 2010 almost 29 years after he was rescued in the Caribbean when Steven Callahan abandoned ship alone in the middle of the ocean nearly everything was against him he had almost no food drinking water or any reliable navigation equipment but he managed to survive for 11 weeks thanks to his ingenuity and determination what do you think of Steve’s story leave us a comment below and let us know what you would do if stranded at sea for 76 days

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