Four Months Adrift

In 1942, Chinese sailor Poon Lim survived 130 days drifting alone in the South Atlantic. A German U-boat torpedoed his ship and he climbed into a life raft. Lim stayed alive by catching rainwater in a canvas tarp and fishing with a bent nail. At first he counted the days by tying knots in a rope, but then simply began counting full moons. He reached Brazil in April 1943, 20 pounds lighter but able to walk unaided. “I hope no one will ever have to break that record,” he said.