Castaways or shipwrecked mariners

WHS with documented examples of castaways or shipwrecked sailors spending a significant period of time (i.e more than a few days) as the sole inhabitants before being rescued.

Connected Sites

Site Rationale Link
Banc d'Arguin French frigate M├ęduse (1810) struck the Bank of Arguin off the coast of present-day Mauritania and became a total loss. .. Survivors resorted to suicide or killing each other, or "landed immediately on the coast of Africa, with most of the survivors making their way overland to Senegal, though some died on the way". After 13 days at sea, the raft was discovered with only 15 people still alive.
Fraser Island The name Fraser Island comes from Eliza Fraser and her story of survival from a shipwreck on the island. Captain James Fraser and his wife, Eliza Fraser, were shipwrecked on the island in 1836. The name of the ship was the Stirling Castle. Captain Fraser died but Eliza was rescued off the island. (wiki)
Gough and Inaccessible Islands Inaccessible Island. "The Blenden Hall, a British ship ... set sail in 1821 with 84 passengers and crew aboard. Intending to sail past Saint Helena it was carried instead towards Tristan da Cunha due to adverse currents. It ran aground on Inaccessible Island and suffered a broken back, but the forecastle was carried inshore. All but two of those aboard survived the shipwreck, and, subsisting on wild celery, seals, penguins, and albatross, managed to build boats some months later. The first attempt to sail to Tristan failed, resulting in the loss of six people, but the second attempt alerted the Tristanians to their plight. The remainder were then brought to Tristan".(Wiki)
Henderson Island The crew of the whaleship Essex, "wandering the ocean in open boats after the Essex had sunk following a collision with a sperm whale, landed briefly on the island, staying from December 20 to December 27, 1820. Three of the crew stayed and survived until their subsequent rescue on April 9, 1821 while their companions sailed for South America". (Wiki)
Papahanaumokuakea Kure -the most westerly atoll. "Many crews were stranded on Kure Atoll after being shipwrecked on the surrounding reefs and had to survive on the local seals, turtles, and birds... Because of these incidents King Kalakaua sent Colonel J. H. Boyd as his Special Commissioner to Kure. On September 20, 1886 he took possession of the island, then called Moku Papapa, for the Hawaiian government. The King ordered that a crude house be built on the island, with tanks for holding water and provisions for any other unfortunates who might be cast away there. But the provisions were stolen within a year, and the house soon fell into ruins." (Wiki)
Phoenix Islands Amelia Earhart
Rock Islands British East India Company vessel Antelope shipwrecked on Ulong in 1783 - the survivors subsequently spent 3 months on Palau (AB ev and link)
Shark Bay In 1841 the Pers?v?rant, a French whaler, was wrecked on Dirk Hartog Island "The 25-man crew struggled to Cape Levillain, on the northern tip of the island, where they camped in the sandhills for ten weeks. Five men died of scurvy and are buried on the island, but the others sailed four whale boats on a treacherous ? and to some, fatal ? journey to Indonesia. Archaeologists have discovered brass buttons, glass, ceramics, clay pipes and other artefacts at this camp site."
Wrangel Island Several occasions. "In 1914, the survivors of (an) ill-equipped Canadian Arctic Expedition, were marooned there for nine months after their ship, the Karluk was crushed in the ice pack. The survivors were rescued.... after (the) Captain walked across the Chukshi Sea to Siberia to summon help" (from Wiki). An expedition of 5 people went to the island in Sep 1921 as "settlers" in an attempt to claim it for Canada. "Running out of provisions, 3 members tried in Jan 1923 to cross the Chukshi Sea to get help from Siberia - they were never seen again. The remaining man was incapacitated by scurvy and was cared for by Ada Blackjack, the Inuit cook, eventually dying in April 1923 leaving Ada alone until she was rescued in August when an organiser of the expedition arrived." (from Wiki) Ada lived on in Anchorage until 1983!


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A connection should:

  1. Not be "self evident"
  2. Link at least 3 different sites
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  5. Be explained, with reference to a source