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Orcas Sank Their Boat, and Castaways Survived by Drinking Turtle Blood and Eating Sharks

In this incredible survival story, Dougal Robertson, his wife Lyn, and the couple’s four children set out in 1972 on a sailing expedition, but the trip was cut short when their boat was attacked by orcas.

They had been sailing for more than 18 months when Anne, the Robertsons’ oldest child, decided to take a break, leaving the rest of the family and a new crew member Robin, a 22-year-old Welshman, out at sea.

The situation went south when the 43-foot schooner Lucette was attacked by killer whales and sank in 60 seconds.

Although this happened back in 1972, it has been brought back to light after recent orca attacks on boats in waters off the coast of Spain and also, most recently, Scotland.

After their boat sank, everyone who was aboard Lucette survived 38 tortuous days in an inflatable rubber dinghy they named “Ednamair.”

Ednamir-with-Robertsons
Credit ‘The Last Voyage of the Lucette’ by Douglas Robertson

Robertson explains in the video that the survivors had made a pact not to eat each other, and they drank turtle blood and ate sharks to survive. Robin, the new crew member, later admitted that he was afraid the others would eat him because he wasn’t a family member, but they reassured him that they were all in this together.

The survivors had enough water for 10 days and emergency rations for three days on the raft. They had a logbook, a sewing box, a bag of onions, a kitchen knife, a tin of biscuits, 10 oranges, six lemons, half a pound of sugar sweets, and flares. They had no maps, compass, or instruments, and nobody knew they were missing.

Watch the video to hear the rest of the story in this interview with Douglas Robertson himself.

Would you have the survival chops to survive this long in a dinghy?

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