Shark Week: “Adrift: 47 Days with Sharks”

“Adrift: 47 Days with Sharks” follows the dramatic true story of three World War II airmen who became stranded in the Pacific after their plane went down. Two of the three men survived the ordeal, while being confined to life raft in open water for 47 days. The men were subjected to the dangers of exposure, thirst, hunger, and enemy fire, but they were also situated in a raft surrounded by sharks. It’s Shark Week after all, so you can expect the sharks to be at the center of the drama in this telling of the tale of survival.

While most of this year’s Shark Week programming has strayed from horror movie style re-enactments, it looks like “Adrift: 47 Days with Sharks” features at least some flashes of this type of drama, so if you’ve been missing that aspect of Shark Week, so far, perhaps this one will be right up your alley.

The true story has also been told in Laura Hillenbrand’s “Unbroken” and in the words of Louis Zamperini (one of the survivors) in “Devil at My Heels.”

“Adrift: 47 Days with Shark” premieres tonight on Discovery’s Shark Week at 10PM.

4 comments

  1. drudown says:

    Were Bull Sharks The Inspiration For The “River Monsters” Of Lakota Mythology?

    That is a Shark Week show I would like to see.

    As their dark shadow passes through the tunnel of our deepest fear’s very morphology, a contour of Fate we each have touched in the recesses of dreams.

    Ah, me- the Bull shark is arguably the most adaptable apex predator in the Animal Kingdom. What other predator can move so freely between such disparate environmental realms? As it swims alone where never believed to be home: selective forces, witnesses kissing crosses, because there is no way that Bull Shark in the river is going to let that little boy go.

    Here, the Bull Shark species- over millions of years- embracing mutation that enables this dual domination as apex predator, feeding opportunistically as its metabolic will directs and the timeless moment shall allow: thou shark, a harbinger of demise, in the open sea, the migrating White shark’s black-blue eyes- it was there they looked through me when biting down on the tuna offering our cage dive was proffering, its raptor gaze without feeling or remorse, its course now focused on our splashing – we play; yet, in an instant, the White shark could have its way. The shark’s sheer violent temperament a portal to vengeance, violence upon the weak, exacting wrath on our bodies and the imaginary control we seek.

    Thrash, thrash, the pull underneath- gnashing teeth, the bites are relentless like swarming bees, gashing our lineaments, sawing digits and severing knees. As bubbles rise amidst my demise, red plume spilled like Rhone over blue sea, known in an instant, this silent attacker knows thee.

    My dear Siren, your rocks seem more at ease than he.

    Conspicuously, the Bull Shark’s “hyperactive” attacking style could verily be in part attributable to our ancestors’ sedentary lifestyle- both you and me. With such a predictable flow of bycatch and scavenging opportunities, early Hominids and human beings provided Bull Sharks- indeed, all the “man-eating” shark species- with a protein source and more complex and perpetually changing cultural pattern that likely helped “fuel” the (albeit limited) reorganization of the pelagic shark’s brain- just as plants stretch higher to reach the purest rain-not unlike how the advent of bipedalism enabled our true hunting prowess, and the ability to scavenge for each competitor works and is as an integrated survival strategy.

    O Angel, the shark was both revered, feared and, well, who are we kidding, often speared- by society, not just men. Society works and is inside the kin selection that binds mammal social groups together, like sinew. Yet all gene pools depend on the other for genetic diversity, and this gene flow between groups exists between established White shark populations, e.g., South Africa and Western Australia. But these two are more dangerous to man in terms of predation.

    Tell me, why are these White shark populations more prone to consume humans in the modern day than the Pacific White sharks out our way? My guess is the behavioral gene that presses down upon the White shark’s inclination to avoid humans entirely- was expressed in a much higher frequency in Pacific White shark populations, i.e., those that had this gene in the latter gene pool were more likely to pass genes on to the next generation insofar it was a favorable trait in comparison to the “fearless of human society” behavioral gene).

    It seems Bull Sharks occupy every major estuarine route that supported the major civilizations of the World. I need not name them to know them though I have sailed them in my dreams, the Holy Ganges in person: even a learned mind left speechless as a mature Bull Shark surfaced with the tenacity of a voracious trout taking a fluttering dragonfly off the surface of life and death, smoothened over by the prey’s last breath.

    Ah me, the instinctual knowledge inside shark’s intelligence is painted brightly upon its prowess as an opportunist, not just its mere proficiency to identify opportunity, not unlike the Tiger Shark’s beautiful hue. When the Tiger Shark came upon sailors in WWII, it did knew to wait until dark: men chewed in half like salty taffy, heavier still by desolate tears, years lost…. by the Judgment of Nature.

    The White shark glides in powerful rapture.

  2. M.B. Backer says:

    I missed the episode of Adrift: 47 Days with Sharks. Could you please send me a notice of when it will be shown on TV again –ie the complete episode.

  3. Brandon says:

    Unfortunately, I missed it the first time it aired too, but while I was on the bus this morning I watched it at Dish Online. This story is epic. These men are a breed of their own. I don’t anyone, let alone my self, that would be able survive being stranded on a boat with sharks all around and then going to jail. One of my supervisors at Dish said one of them does not want to be called a hero. I have no idea what else I could call him really.

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