Could You Survive A Shipwreck, The Desert, And Slavery Like The “Skeletons On The Zahara”?


The true story of a crew of sailors who are shipwrecked, forced to walk the Sahara desert, and are sold into slavery seemed too impossible to be real, but it was!  I found myself amazed that Captain Riley and his crew were able to survive in such conditions for so long.  The men faced horrific challenges, and exhibited bravery at every opportunity.  I was particularly surprised by how the men managed to stay alive with so little food and water. Captain Riley managed to write much of their tragic tale in a journal which survived. and formed the basis of the book.

After their ship runs aground, they abandon the ship and swim the 200 yards to shore.  There they are met with natives who help themselves to items washing ashore from the vessel, and ultimately attack the sailors, killing one man.  The men decide to use a small boat to paddle out to sea, hoping they will be picked up by another ship.  But after only a few days at sea, dehydration and starvation makes them turn back to the beach they just abandoned.  They take off into the desert, where they are captured by nomads and forced to give up their clothes.  Walking through the desert naked and starving, the men are eventually sold into slavery.

The story was interesting, although at times overly descriptive as it recounted the story of many other navigators and ships.  I would only recommend the book to those really interested in the genre of survival tales.

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