The USS Indianapolis was a vessel in the United States Navy. She holds a famous place in history due to the circumstances of her sinking, which led to the greatest single loss of life at sea in the history of the U.S. Navy. On 30 July 1945, shortly after delivering critical parts for the first atomic bomb that was to be dropped on Japan, the Indianapolis fell victim to a torpedo from a Japanese submarine. Of 1,196 crewmen aboard, approximately 300 men went down with the ship.
The remaining crew of 880 were cast into the briny deep. Only 316 sailors survived their time in the water. If the remainder didn't drown, they faced the horrible death of being eaten by the sharks that found them.
It's thought that the Indianapolis sinking resulted in the most shark attacks on humans in a single incident in history. It's figured the majority of the sharks were oceanic whitetip shark species. Tiger Sharks might have also killed and eaten some of the survivors.
|The drowning sailor loving Oceanic whitetip shark|
After 4 days the group of sailors was noticed by a US plane patrolling the area. It turns out the US Navy had not realised the Indianapolis had been sunk!
Image source: Malcom Nobbs - check out his site, it's fully of great underwater photography.