This man was shipwrecked for 76 days, until someone finally found him

This man was shipwrecked for 76 days, until someone finally found him

Some of us can’t imagine a day going by without all of our luxuries. This could be anything from our morning cup of coffee to our king-sized bed and anything in between. All of these little additions might seem like nothing when we get to use them every day, but without them, they could see our lives take a nosedive. So what happens if everything we know and love suddenly disappeared? While it might seem as though we can enjoy these luxuries for the rest of our lives, sometimes, we have no choice but to fight to survive without anything to help us along the way.

One man thought that he was setting out on the adventure of a lifetime with everything that he needed to make it out on the sea. That was until the waters were about to claim his boat, and this fisherman was shipwrecked for 76 days before anyone found him. It looked as though time was running out. He just had to use the power of hope that someone would eventually find him.

The open water

Some of us love to head out onto the open water. The wind in our hair, the water beneath our boat, and the fresh smell of being at one with Mother Nature. So what happened when one man wanted to take his passion one step further?

Steven Callahan had a love for the ocean and wanted to set sail on the sea. However, his adventure was about to turn into a nightmare when he was shipwrecked for 76 days.

Discovering his passion

Steve is initially from Massachusetts. It was here that he signed up to the Boy Scouts. Not only did Steve learn all the skills that he would need to survive in the wild, but he discovered his hidden passion: boating.

It wasn’t long before Steve was obsessed with being out on the water. In fact, he was just 12 years old when Steve decided that he wanted to grow up and become a solo sailor. All he needed to do was make sure that he knew everything it would take to survive on the sea with no one else around.

Building his creation

After many years exploring the sea, Steve decided that it was time to take his love one step further. He had the perfect answer: he was going to build his own boat. Steve started to get to work in his small cabin until he was left looking at his 21-foot-long creation.

It was perfect. Steve named the ship Napoleon Solo after a character from the spy action series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. as it seemed like the ideal name for a boat that would one day take him across the water with no one else around.

A new adventure

Sadly, Steve and his wife filed for divorce in 1982. While this was about to change his life, Steve knew that it was the perfect chance to head out and achieve his dreams. No longer was he tied to stay at the house. Now, Steve could take Napoleon Solo out for a spin.

He decided to set out from Rhode Island with Bermuda in his sights. From there, Steve took a trip across to England, where he met a group of sailors. They wanted to know if Steve would take place in a competition that would see him sail by himself across the Atlantic Ocean.

Out the race

Although Steve signed up to the competition, a bad storm the night before the morning of the race meant that many of the ships had been damaged. Steve set sail only to find he had to stop in Spain to repair a huge crack along the side of his boat. Steve was officially out of the race.

He might have been out, but there was no way that Steve was going to give up. Now, he was on a solo mission to finish making his way across the water. He just had to make sure the boat would be up to the job.

Passing the time

Before Steve went too far, he decided to stop at the Canary Island to buy a speargun. Sadly, he had no room on the boat, meaning Steve had to store it in the life raft instead. Little did he know how this would one day affect his whole life.

Thankfully, Steve had plenty to pass the time as he spent his days out on the open water doodling in his notebook as well as working on his novel.

A sudden noise

It was just two days before Steve’s 30th birthday in 1982 when he heard a huge crash. He had been sleeping, but now Steve was scrambling around the ship to see what was happening.

Sadly, it didn’t take long for him to realize that water was flooding into the boat. He had mere moments to grab what he needed. Steve reached around until he had hold of a knife, a whale-tooth necklace, and a waterproof watch.

Grabbing his supplies

Steve quickly grabbed the life raft and threw it into the water. Now, he only had the moonlight as he tried to search around the rest of the boat for anything he could grab.

Steve soon found a floating cushion, an emergency kit, and a soaked sleeping bag. It might not be much, but it was the best that he could do. Eventually, Steve tried to leave the ship only to the waves had shut the door.

Gone for good

Thankfully, the waves eventually tore a hole in the boat, meaning that Steve was able to escape. Steve decided to try and keep the boat with the hopes that he would be able to fix it the next morning.

He tied the boat to the raft in the hopes it would stay there for a few hours. Sadly, the waves eventually snapped the rope. Steve had to watch as his boat sunk under the water.

Finding the necessities

It turned out that Steve had been able to grab enough food for 18 days. The best bit? Some of the emergency kit contained three solar stills. This meant he would be able to filter seawater into safe drinking water.

Thankfully, two of them worked. Steve had all he needed for a few days at sea. However, he had no idea where he was. It was likely that Steve was hundreds of miles from land.

Searching for answers

Being stranded in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean gave Steve plenty of time to think about what could have caused the hole in the ship in the first place.

He figured that a whale had probably been eating at the top of the water before it accidentally crashed into the boat. Steve thought this was the only thing that would have been large enough to create such a big hole and cause such devastation in mere moments.

Holding out hope

The hours turned into days with no help in sight. Steve was left to think of new ways to survive, but he couldn’t give up hope. Someone would arrive. Thankfully, barnacles soon formed on the bottom of the raft.

These were enough to attract fish. The best bit? Steve could use his speargun for hunting the fish. Sadly, he had to eat them raw as there was no way to cook the fish on the raft.

New guests

All of that raw fish was enough to attract another visitor to the water: sharks. Sadly, they weren’t as easy to scare, and some of them even started to try and eat the tanks that were keeping the raft above the water.

Steve was running out of ideas. However, he had to be consistent and chase them off every time they arrived. This was the only way he stood a chance of surviving the ordeal.

Hope at last

It had been about two weeks since Steve had got shipwrecked, but he now found himself in the shipping lane. This was his perfect chance to find help.

Steve tried to shoot a flare to get their attention, but the flare failed, and Steve was left, once again, without any hope that he would ever be found. There was nothing left to do but climb back inside the raft and wait for another opportunity to find someone.

A list of problems

As if that wasn’t enough, Steve’s speargun soon broke when he was hunting for fish and one began to thrash around. He tried to repair it, but Steve couldn’t manage anything more than attaching a knife to the shaft of the spear as he didn’t have the right parts.

That wasn’t all. The new spear caused even more trouble when the fish tried to get away and pierced the knife into the raft as a result.

A lucky find

The knife tore a massive hole into the side of the raft. Steve knew that he was sinking and needed to patch it up, but he had nothing on board that would be enough to fix the hole.

He couldn’t give up. Steve spent a week trying to repair the hole until he found a fork in the emergency kit. Thankfully, Steve was able to bend the utensil into the right shape. It wasn’t perfect, but it would do.

A new plan

Steve had been on the water for six weeks and knew that he needed to find more ways to search for food. Thankfully, Steve found something new.

He turned to seaweed as a way to catch smaller animals that he could eat now that his knife was gone. However, Steve had to be careful not to eat too much seaweed as it was high in salt, and Steve couldn’t make enough water to quench his thirst.

Growing health concerns

The weeks continued to roll by as Steve battled the elements. Sadly, all the saltwater had caused blisters on his skin while Steve was also suffering from sunburn in the day and was left freezing overnight.

He was constantly wet with no way to get away from the water. In fact, all the water meant that Steve’s skin was constantly pruned. Steve was now dealing with constant pain with no way to escape or get comfortable.