In January 1982, an American named Steven Callahan (born 1952) set sail from the Canary Islands on a small boat that he built himself.
Just six days into the trip, his boat sank, and he was left adrift on a 5-foot (1.5-meter) life-raft.
He had only three pounds (1.3 kilograms) of food and eight pints of water, a solar still and a makeshift spear.
But he managed to survive for seventy six days which is when he was finally rescued.
During his two-plus months at sea, Callahan’s raft traveled approximately 1,800 miles (2,898 kilometers).
He had to contend with malnutrition, sunburn and repeated shark attacks and after his raft sprang a leak, he still managed to keep it afloat and was able to control the leak for 33 more days.
He recounted his ordeal in the best-selling book Adrift: 76 Days Lost At Sea (1986), and it was on the New York Times best-seller list for more than thirty-six weeks.
Callahan had both sailing and shipbuilding experience, but his unwavering determination to live was most likely what enabled him to survive.