The Castaway Who Survived On A Wooden Raft For 133 Days

Taken from the most renowned Instagram in the universe – @LateNightHistory – perhaps I may post these more often with added GIFs and flair.

Castaway

On April 5th, 1943, Poon Lim – a Castaway was rescued by three Brazilian fisherman after surviving 133 days in the South Atlantic aboard a makeshift wooden raft.

During World War II Lim worked as a second steward on the British armed merchant ship SS Benlomond. On November 23rd, 1942, the lone ship was intercepted by a German U-boat that launched two torpedoes sinking it to the bottom of the ocean. Before the ship exploded into smithereens however, Lim grabbed a life-jacket and bailed with six others but unfortunately they perished soon after. Two hours after the destruction, Lim miraculously found an 8-foot life-raft containing tins of biscuits, a 40-litre jug of water, a bag of sugar lumps, chocolate, flares, two smoke pots, and a flashlight.

bear-grylls-meme

Lost at Sea

He downed the water and the food rather quickly, so he had to become resourceful. He trapped rainwater using his lifejacket and tarp shelter, he took the wiring inside the flashlight to make a fishing hook and hemp rope for the line. The nails from his raft were used to cut the fish open. After a severe storm he became desperate, but managed to kill a bird and drink it’s blood to survive. He used the bird for bait to catch sharks. After wrestling one aboard and beating it to death with the water jug, he sliced the fins and sucked the blood from it’s organs. He was seen by vessels passing by and seaplanes overhead, but none stopped to help. They assumed he was a Japanese pilot that was shot down and left him for dead.

Lim counted the days by tying knots but abandoned it and counted full moons instead. He noticed the water change from oceanic blue to a clearer teal color and thought he must be nearing land. Three days later he was rescued and spent three weeks in a Brazilian hospital. He lost 20 pounds and holds the record as a survivor for the most time spent on a life-raft. He received the British Empire Medal and later obtained U.S. citizenship. Lim passed away on January 4th, 1991.

 

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