USS Indianapolis – History’s Greatest Shark Attack

Posted: 08/02/2011 in all marine news

Mike –

In tribute to The Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, which is currently in full swing, we bring to you the sinking of the USS Indianapolis CA-35, resulting in what is considered by many the worst shark attack of all time.

In the early morning hours of July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis, just 4 days after it delivered the first combat-ready atomic bomb to the US air base at Tinian Island in the Pacific, was fatally struck by torpedoes from Japanese subs. Within minutes, some 900 of the 1,196 men on board were in the shark infested waters, equipped only with life jackets. Few life rafts were deployed.

The shark attacks began with the rising sun that morning and continued until the remaining men were rescued just over 4 days later. Of the initial 900 or so men that went into the water, only 317 survived, making it the worst maritime disaster in U.S. Navy history.

We all remember the scene in Steven Spielberg’s 1975 thriller ‘Jaws’ where Quint, the shark fisherman, is describing the horrible scenes that took place during the 4 days in the water. With that in mind, here is a first hand account from survivor Woody Eugene James.

Full story…

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