Raft of the Medusa

From the Washington Naval Treaty to the end of the Second World War.
User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Raft of the Medusa

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:56 pm

Have you heard about the shipwreck of the Medusa and the history of the survivors on a raft?
A very spooky story!

Best regards...
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

iankw
Member
Posts: 196
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 11:41 pm
Location: Rotherham, England

Post by iankw » Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:50 pm

I'm a frayed knot Karl. Care to enlighten us?

Ian

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Post by Bgile » Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:56 pm

I'm feeling pretty frayed these days, too! :)

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Jun 28, 2007 2:52 pm

The Medusa was a french frigate and flaship of a small fleet of 4 vessels sent by France in 1816 (after Napoleon´s defeat and the return to power of some Louis) to receive from the British victors their colony of Senegal.
But the skipper of the Medusa was appointed by his political loyalty and not because he was a real captain so, as many other captains in many other mishaps, he run into trouble and got stuck in sand in middle of nowhere but not before he got lost of the other three vessels.
So there was not enough space in the lifeboats so they built a raft that was to be towed by the boats. In the raft were 120 men (and a woman). But after a couple of hours the guys in the boats realized that they would die if continue to tow the raft so they decided (obviously without the conscent of the people in the raft) to cut the ropes and leave the poor bastards on their own.
Then the people in the raft decided to fight a civil war between them and began to kill each other and many commited suicide (among them some officers). In the struggle they managed to threw the food and the water overboard, so they decided to resort to cannibalism and the fitest killed the weak.
When there were only a few left a British warship came by and rescue them. Some of the survivors die after the rescue but one of them wrote their story and sealed a court martial for the ship´s skipper (who was in one of the lifeboats and was the one with the idea of cutting the ropes). But the story leaked to the political opposition and published in Paris. Then a romantic-era artist heard the story, interviewed the writer and then painted a famous art piece called "The Raft of the Medusa" and nowadays is exposed at the Louvre with the other Da Vinci´s Code´s stuff there.
More or less that´s the story of the Medusa, a combination of many other known stories: Titanic, Indianapolis, the Ande´s plane crash survivors, Jaws, Watergate and all that.
But a very spooky story if we are talking that all happened in a military vessel, a military crew that managed to behave as animals.

Well, that´s it...
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

User avatar
marcelo_malara
Senior Member
Posts: 1263
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:14 pm
Location: buenos aires

Post by marcelo_malara » Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:45 pm

Wow, one of the strangest stories of navigation I have heard!!!

iankw
Member
Posts: 196
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 11:41 pm
Location: Rotherham, England

Post by iankw » Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:58 pm

A strange tale indeed, thanks for recounting it Karl. I guess if you are hungry enough you will eat anything!!

Ian

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7603
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Post by RF » Thu Jul 05, 2007 10:44 am

Am I right in thinking that the original Medusa was a mythical gargoyle upon which anyone gazing on it was rendered blind?
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:09 pm

RF:

Yep. The Medusa was a mythological monster: a woman with snakes instead of hair covering her head (that resembles my first wife :think: ) and if you look at her you became of stone. :!: As far as I remember Medusa was one of three hideous sisters but one day came some greek hero (Ulisses I believe) and killed her.

Kind regards
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

Post Reply