Steven Callahan born is an American author, naval architect, inventor, and sailor.
In , he survived for 76 days adrift on the Atlantic Ocean in a liferaft. Callahan holds a university degree in Philosophy.
A naval architect by training, Callahan has designed and built boats, taught design, lived aboard, raced, and cruised boats of all kinds. Since the s, he has also written widely for the yachting press worldwide, has been a contributing editor to Sail and Sailor magazines, senior editor of Cruising World , has authored Adrift and Capsized , the story of four men who drifted for four months on an overturned, half-flooded boat.
He has also lectured widely and contributed to a number of other books on design, seamanship, and survival. He holds three U. The Clam is a multifunction self-rescue dinghy, designed for use as a proactive lifeboat as well as a yacht tender that allows the sailor to sail to safety.
Callahan asserts that "It certainly would be nice to have a completely different kind of raft now, what the French call a "Dynamic" raft, meaning the thing sails.
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The last time I lost my boat, had I been able to beam reach, I could have shortened my drift from 1, miles to ; had I been able to sail even dead downwind but increase speed to a moderate 2. He had left Cornwall that fall, bound for Antigua as part of the Mini Transat 6.
Bad weather had sunk several boats in the fleet and damaged many others including Napoleon Solo. Callahan made repairs and continued voyaging down the coast of Spain and Portugal, out to Madeira and the Canaries. In a growing gale, seven days out, his vessel was badly holed by an unknown object during a night storm, and became swamped, although it did not sink outright due to watertight compartments Callahan had designed into the boat.
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In his book, Callahan writes that he suspects the damage occurred from a collision with a whale. Unable to stay aboard Napoleon Solo as it filled with water and was overwhelmed by breaking seas, Callahan escaped into a six-person Avon inflatable life raft , measuring about six feet across. He stood off in the raft, but managed to get back aboard several times to dive below and retrieve a piece of cushion, a sleeping bag, and an emergency kit containing, among other things, some food, navigation charts, a short spear gun, flares, torch, solar stills for producing drinking water and a copy of Sea Survival , a survival manual written by Dougal Robertson , a fellow ocean survivor.
Before dawn, a big breaking sea parted the life raft from Napoleon Solo and Callahan drifted away. The raft drifted westward with the South Equatorial Current and the trade winds.
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After exhausting the meager food supplies he had salvaged from the sinking sloop, Callahan survived by catching food. He mainly ate mahi-mahi , as well as triggerfish , which he speared, along with flying fish , barnacles , and birds that he captured.
He collected drinking water from two solar stills and various jury-rigged devices for collecting rainwater, which together produced on average just over a pint of water per day. EPIRBs were not monitored by satellites at the time, and he was in too empty a part of the ocean to be heard by aircraft.
Ships did not spot his flares. While adrift, he spotted nine ships, most in the two sea lanes he crossed, but from the beginning, Callahan knew that he could not rely upon rescue but instead must, for an undetermined time, rely upon himself and maintaining a shipboard routine for survival.
66 Days Adrift: A True Story of Disaster and Survival on the Open Sea
He routinely exercised, navigated, prioritized problems, made repairs, fished, improved systems, and built food and water stocks for emergencies. On the eve of April 20, , he spotted lights on the island of Marie Galante , south east of Guadeloupe. The next day, on Callahan's 76th day afloat in the raft, fishermen picked him up just offshore, drawn to him by birds hovering over the raft, which were attracted by the ecosystem that had developed around it.
During the ordeal, he faced sharks, raft punctures, equipment deterioration, physical deterioration, and mental stress. Having lost a third of his weight and being covered with scores of saltwater sores, he was taken to a local hospital for an afternoon, but left that evening and spent the following weeks recovering on the island and while hitchhiking on boats up through the West Indies.
During his journey, Callahan experienced a few positive elements aside from suffering, describing the night sky at one point as "A view of heaven from a seat in hell. Since his survival drift, he's made dozens of additional offshore passages and ocean crossings, most of them with no more than two other crew.
In the making of the movie Life of Pi , director Ang Lee asked Callahan to be a consultant on living aboard a life raft. Ang Lee told Callahan, "I want to make the ocean a real character in this movie".
Callahan made lures and other tools seen in the movie. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the castaway.
For the screenwriter, producer, and voice actor, see Steve Callaghan. Ocean Navigator Magazine. Retrieved 21 July Categories : Living people Single-handed sailors births Castaways.