Sailors from the 19th century Alaska shipwreck were able survived for almost a month in the harsh Alaska winter and archaeologists are about to find exactly out how they did it.
Neva the Russian-American Company ship, wrecked in close proximity to Kruzof Island, Alaska, in 1813. With little to no food or water supplies, it seems as though the sailors managed to survive the harsh winter weather for nearly a month, according to new evidence collected form on the island.
Archaeologists are now bringing to light the fascinating story of the sailors who managed to get by using whatever resources they had left, until they were rescued from Kruzof Island. The evidence gathered by archaeologists shows that the sailors used the ship’s wreckage in order to make different life saving tools and that they also started fire with the help of scrap metal and gun flints.
When the ship left the shores of Okhotsk, Russia in August of 1812, seventy-five people were on board along with a series of other goods such as furs and guns. The National Science Foundation stated that before arriving in Prince William Sound, Alaska, the crew had experienced a lot of misfortune especially due to water shortages, a great number of violent storms and sickness.
Near Kruzof Island, the ship hit a rock and started sinking. Out of the seventy-five sailors only twenty-eight were lucky enough to arrive on shore and at the time they were rescued twenty-six sailors were still alive.
Researcher MacMahan and his fellow co-workers, managed to find the approximate location where the Neva ship sunk. They came across some artefacts such as: a Russian axe, fish-hooks and bullets, called musket balls, all made out of copper. According to the researchers the artefacts were in most cases made by the sailors, by using the remains of the wreckage.
“Collectively, the artefacts reflect improvisation in a survival situation,” declared McMahan.
Archaeologists are currently searching the ocean floor in hopes of finding any signs of the shipwreck. While the investigation continues McMahan encourages anyone who might have any knowledge of where the shipwreck could be found, to come forward and contact the Sitka Historical Society.
Image Source: i.livescience