YORK, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- York beach will be a popular place for visitors to have fun come this summer, but just off the shore lies the spot where one of Maine's most famous shipwrecks took place.
Deep in the archeology lab of the Maine State Museum lie three cannons, some old powder bags, and some inactive black powers- all that's left of Boon Island's most notorious shipwreck.
On the stormy night of December 11th, 1710, while en-route to Boston, the British merchant vessel the Nottingham Galley smashed into Boon Island- a jumble of rocks two football fields long just off the coast of York. You can see the small island from the beach six miles away. That's how clearly the crew of the Nottingham Galley could see safety, but they couldn't reach it. With barely any supplies and no way to make a fire or signal land for help, the crew sat there, slowly starving to death... for 24 days.
"They can see boats going by, and they can see smoke going up from chimneys, but there's just nothing that they can do."
Author, Andrew Vietze literally, wrote the book on the shipwreck along with historian Stephen Erickson, simply called Boon Island.Vietze knows all too well the horrors that Captain John Deane and his crew faced.
After nearly three weeks of huddling together for warmth in the freezing cold and living off scraps and seaweed, the crew dwindles from 14 men to 10. That's when hunger finally pushes them to do the unthinkable with one of their dead.
"The captain, he was a butcher in a previous life. So, they asked him 'captain, can you do what you used to do? Can you make meat out of this for us, it's the only way we're going to survive'...so he did," Vietze said.
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