The rescue of four Soviet soldiers after they had spent seven weeks in a crippled landing craft, drifting 1,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean, revives memories of other epic trans-ocean voyages in or on unorthodox craft.
Falmouth, England. French Canadians arrive Falmouth after crossing the Atlantic 1956. GV. Falmouth various shots of raft.
GV. People outside seamen's club. Members of the raft arrive at seamen's club and enter.
Various shots raft tied up in harbour. Mascot is given fish. PAN shot to rudder and two shots raft.
Callao, Peru. May 1947. GV. People gathered around raft (3 shots) Bunting, flags etc. GV. Raft with weather balloon, sail is hoisted. CU. Bearded skipper. GV. Raft underway. LV. Ditto.
Paris, France. 1953. Rubber dinghy being prepared to leave. CU. Dr. Bombard. GV. Raft is towed out to sea.
Monaco. 1952. (Three men begin Atlantic crossing in rubber lifeboat to see if they can live 10 weeks without fresh water) Film shows raft into water with Dr. Bombard. TOP V. Ditto. CU. Bombard. SV. Crew working on radio transmitter. GV. Raft is towed out to see. SV. Ditto. GV. Ditto.
1958. Raft travels to Tahiti. GV. Raft prepares for voyage. SV. Ditto. TOP V. Ditto. Member of the crew with wind instrument. CU. Another member of the crew with weather instrument. CU. Mascot. TOP V. Ceremony before departure. CU. Mr. Erick de Bischopp is garlanded. CU. Member of the crew kisses wife. GV. Raft is towed out to sea. Various shots.
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Background: The rescue of four Soviet soldiers after they had spent seven weeks in a crippled landing craft, drifting 1,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean, revives memories of other epic trans-ocean voyages in or on unorthodox craft.
Four French-Canadians setssail from Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 24, 1956, on a raft of rough-hewn red cedar logs lashed and pegged together. With only a small sail to provide propellant power, they drifted across the Atlantic Ocean with the Gulf Stream. They were towed into Falmouth harbour, England, 88 days later. During the last 30 days their food and drink ran out, and they caught rainwater and fish for sustenance. One crewmember fell sick and was removed from the raft by a passing ship.
Believing that a group of South sea islands were first populated by South American indians, five Norwegians and one Swede, led by Thor Heyerdahl, a Norwegian anthropologist, set out May 1947 on a 4,300 mile journey across the Pacific Ocean - from Callao, Peru, to Ravaoi in the Tuamota Archipelago on a primitive made 45 x 18 feet raft - called 'Kon-Tikki' - such as their predecessors must have used on the original journey. The expedition sailed for 101-days before they sighted land, or indeed fish.
A French scientist - Dr. Bombard - and two other men set off from Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Aug 11 1952, bound for Barbados, West Indies...a 2,700 mile journey in a rubber raft. The journey took 65 days, 53 of which Dr. Bombard lived solely on fish, plankton and rain water. They arrived in Barbados Dec 24. Dr. Bombard wanted to prove that man could live at sea on a diet of liquid obtained from fish, the flesh of fish, and plankton - sea water growths. He returned to Paris, France, and was accorded a hero's welcome.
Two Frenchmen and three Chileans - led by 67 year old Eric de Bischopp - set sail from Santiago, Chile, 17 February 1958, aboard 35 x 15 feet raft of logs, bound for Tahiti, a Pacific island, in an attempt to prove a Polynesian migration to Chile. The expedition ended in disaster. De Bischopp was killed when the raft overturned at Rakahanga, off the Cook Islands early in September 1958. The other Frenchman, Alain Brun, and the three Chileans were rescued. A previous attempt by de Bischopp to prove his theory also ended in disaster - 1956 - when his raft was wrecked in a storm.