21st Century Robinson Crusoe

Yes, it still happens–even in the age of ipods and satellite phones people are shipwrecked and stranded on deserted islands. Russia Today recently reported the rescue of a 25-year-old monastery fellow who had been stranded for over two weeks on a football field-sized island. Sergey Ganushev had been collecting seaweed off the White Sea when his longboat wrecked during a storm. Ganushev managed to swim to the small island where he spent the next 17 days eating seaweed, drinking rain water, enduring near freezing temperatures in a shallow cave he dug by hand.

As he describes the ordeal:

“My boat started leaking. Then a storm started and the boat turned over. I swam to a small island. When I got there the boat crashed on rocks. I spent seventeen days on the island. I had a mobile phone, but it was wet and did not work. I had no food and water. It was very scary,” Ganushev said. “For the first ten days I was watching the vessels go by in the distance, but when I realized that no-one saw me, I gave up on that. I did not hope anyone would come for me. I didn’t come out of my ‘cave’ for the last three days. When I heard the helicopter, I wasn’t sure whether I should go out or not. But I did, and I saw the helicopter and started waving.”

The most incredible part of this story, however, is that Ganushev was saved by mere coincidence! Nobody had reported him missing and the rescue team was actually searching for two other shipwrecked men. For footage of the rescue click here.

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