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By Be@ (Translasted by Beri) - Feb. 1, 2011   

Castaways from the ship Utile have survived 15 years on the small Tromelin Island, which is only 200 acres almost without any vegetation.


Tromelin Island, a small sandbank about 200 acres in the Indian Ocean, has almost no fauna and no flora because of constant storms devastating it.
In 1761 a French ship, l'Utile, carrying 302 people (142 crew members and 160 slaves) ran onto the reefs of the island.

Survivors (122 crew members and 60 slaves) built a raft using the wrecked wood from the ship but it was too small to carry everybody and only the crew members sailed off, leaving the slaves on the island.

The slaves organised their lives in order to survive, eating birds, turtle eggs and fish, building cabins and dressing with feathers.

Despite the absence of trees, they managed to maintain a fire using the wood left from the wreckage or brought back by the ocean.
In 1776, that is 15 years later, after 3 unsuccessful attempts, the last survivors (7 women and an 8 months old baby) were rescued by captain Tromelin.


Wikipedia – Tromelin Island
INRAP – L’Utile… 1761 « Esclaves oubliés »
Satellite View of the Island

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