On Boxing Day 1927, the Thames sailing barge Lady Daphne entered the difficult waters of the Isles of Scilly and passed with seeming assurance among its many rocky hazards. At length she began to veer toward land, though, and the islanders dispatched a lifeboat, which caught up with the ship just as she beached herself safely on the island of Tresco.
The only living thing aboard was a canary in a cage. Daphne‘s skipper had been washed overboard, and the remaining two crew members had abandoned the barge off the Cornish coast. Unmanned, she had somehow sailed herself among the rocks to a patch of safe sand.