Poon Lim: a True Survivor

The day was November the 23rd, 1942. The British merchant ship SS Ben Lomond was sailing slowly and alone through the Atlantic to reach French Guiana. Little did the second Steward, Poon Lim, realize that he would be spending the next one hundred and thirty-three days completely unaccompanied on the sea.

A German U-Boat was sighted and it was intercepting them fast just 750 miles off the coast. Without warning a torpedo was fired upon them, the ship was doomed to sink. The quick-thinking Poon Lim grabbed a life jacket and jumped ship just before the ship’s boiler exploded, killing the rest of the 54 member crew.

After spending over two hours treading water, Lim found a Carley Float liferaft to climb into. The craft was small but had several tins of biscuits, a forty litre jug of water, some chocolate, a bag of sugar lumps, some flares, two smoke pots and an electric torch. But this would soon become apparent that all this wouldn’t be enough and Lim would have to get creative…

How he survived.

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