Since men first began to sail the seven seas, shipwrecks have occurred. They have often been the subject of classic novels and have made their way to the big screen on more than one occasion. One of the most notorious shipwrecks to date was on the Auckland Islands in the Southern Ocean where the schooner the Grafton washed up . These remnants help to paint a picture for historians, and tell the story of what happened to the crew of this ship and their will to survive.It is not simply shipwrecks of yesteryear that fascinate audiences though, but also those of a more contemporary style in the form of airplane crashes, such as the case in the film Cast Away. Tom Hanks’ character Chuck Noland undergoes a harrowing journey on a South Pacific island and the trials and tribulations of being alone for a long period of time. In fact, he portrayed his character so well he even got an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. If you watch his conversation with his dear friend Wilson, you can see the mental toll being shipwrecked truly takes on a person.
Robinson Crusoe AKA Andrew Selkirk
Our interest in shipwrecks actually goes back to around 1719 with classical author Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe. Even though it is a fictitious account about a man marooned on an island somewhere near Trinidad it is thought to have more substantial roots.
It has been thought to be based on Andrew Selkirk who experienced similar events portrayed in the novel during his own marooning. He was a Scotsman who managed to survive on the island, much like the character of Crusoe.