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  • this video was made possible by curiosity Stream.

  • When you sign up at curiosity stream dot com slash real life floor, you'll also get access to Nebula, the streaming service that real life floor is a part of life aboard a submarine can really suck.

  • They're usually super cramped, They smell horrible, and you can go weeks or even months without even seeing the sun.

  • They could be claustrophobic to the extreme, and the only thing worse than living on a submarine is sinking to the bottom of the ocean in a broken one.

  • Let's rewind back to World War Two and specifically the Mediterranean theater.

  • The British Navy was fighting for control over the sea with the Italian navy, but the often crystal clear waters were a death trap for submarines on both sides.

  • Some were bombed from the air, others were attacked by ships with depth charges and others just ran into minds.

  • There were a lot of occupational hazards, and as a result, two out of five British submarines that entered the Mediterranean during the war would sink, and usually whenever a submarine does sink, it becomes a mass iron coffin for all of the crew.

  • Unlucky enough to be on board.

  • Throughout the course of the war, the British navy lost 79 submarines, and out of those there were only four successful escapes, which implies that if you went down in one, your odds of escape stood at only 5%.

  • But out of those four successful escapes, however, the most fantastic one is the lesser known story of the H.

  • M s Perseus and the sole survivor onboard H.

  • M s.

  • Perseus was a submarine that was assigned to Alexandria in British Egypt.

  • Their main objective was to covertly transport supplies to the besieged island of Malta, a strategic British outpost in the center of the Mediterranean.

  • On the 26th of November 1941 the sub left Malta back to Alexandria for more supplies with the side quest along the way of patrolling the waters of the southern Aegean around the islands of Greece.

  • Unfortunately, at 10 PM on the night of the sixth of December, Perseus struck an Italian mind just off the coast of the island of Catalonia and began to sink.

  • On board were 61 men, 59 of them being crew members and two of them passengers One of those two passengers was a man named John Capes, who had, somehow, miraculously, go on to become the sole survivor aboard the Perseus.

  • After the sub struck the mine, capes was awoken in his bunk inside of an empty torpedo tube by a loud explosion that threw him across the compartment.

  • All of the lights went out, the sub twisted and plunged down into the dark depths of the cold see before smashing down on the surface.

  • 175 feet beneath, sea level capes discovered that he could still managed to stand up in the darkness.

  • And after rummaging around, he luckily discovered a flashlight through the darkness and in the increasingly foul air and rising water level inside, capes managed to find his way into the subs engine room after passing by the mangled corpses of at least a dozen dead.

  • Along the way, however, this was a Sfar, as he could go because the room on the other side of the door on the far end was already completely full of water.

  • He began quickly, searching for anybody else he could discover that was still alive and managed to find three other men who he brought together in the engine room.

  • They moved up towards the escape chamber and hatch right above the room, where they discovered pairs of escape suits.

  • Unfortunately for them, however, these escape suits were Onley tested for a maximum depth of 100 ft beneath water, and they only had enough oxygen for that amount of distance.

  • Their gauges were reading that they were 270 ft beneath water, but unknown to them, their gauges were actually broken.

  • They were, in fact, 171 ft beneath water.

  • But even still, that meant that they would all have to swim that final 71 ft without any oxygen.

  • And they all believed that they would have to swim for 171 ft without oxygen.

  • Nobody in history had ever done that before, and so they knew that they would be breaking the world record attempt up to that point for the deepest ever escape.

  • If they succeeded time and oxygen inside of the sub was running out, so they had no other choice.

  • Capes took one final swig from a bottle of rum, flooded the escape compartment, and with great difficulty managed to release the damaged bolts on the escape hatch and pushed the other three men out first before he ventured out as well.

  • There was, of course, one other big problem that all the men knew they would be facing, though swimming up rapidly to the sea surface from a depth of hundreds of feet would be a dramatic change in pressure on all of their bodies, which they knew would likely induced the Benz a state.

  • Were gasses inside of the body start to bubble up.

  • This could cause enormous amounts of pain, paralysis and even death in extreme cases.

  • But it was either risk dying from the bends or guarantee drowning in the sub, so they all took their chances anyway.

  • But suddenly capes popped up above the surface.

  • On the cold December night, he was severely suffering from the bends, and the pain he was experiencing inside of his lungs was certainly enormous.

  • But his ordeal was far from being over.

  • None of the other three men ever made it up to the surface, so he was left all alone.

  • He did spot a set of white cliffs belonging to the Greek island of Catalonia in the distance, so he set out and began desperately swimming towards them.

  • The shore was five miles away, but somehow capes actually managed to reach it because he was discovered washed up on the beach and unconscious by a couple local Greek fisherman the next morning.

  • But at the time, the island was occupied by the Italian army, so he was forced to hide and stay underground in his rescuers home.

  • For the next 18 months of his life, Capes was passed from house to house on the island as he attempted to evade capture by the Italians.

  • He lost £70 of weight during this time, and he even dyed his hair black to try and blend in more with the locals.

  • Finally, though, 18 months later in May 1943 after he became the sole survivor of this submarine, sinking and becoming a washed up refugee, the Royal Navy organized a rescue operation.

  • He was smuggled away from Catalonia aboard a humble fishing boat and taken over to Smyrna in neutral Turkey.

  • From there, he was finally able to complete his journey to Alexandria 18 months later than he had anticipated, and for his heroism.

  • Capes was awarded the British Empire Medal.

  • But despite that, most people doubted that his survival story was true.

  • Keeps his name didn't appear on the Perseus is cruelest when it departed from Malta after all, and British submarine commanders were previously orderto bolt, their escape hatches shut from the outside in order to prevent them from getting blown off during a depth charge attack.

  • There were no witnesses to backup Cape's story.

  • He had a reputation for being a great and natural storyteller, and his account of events would change over the course of decades following the end of the war.

  • And his claim of escaping from a depth of 270 ft simply made things even harder to accept.

  • For most people, John Capes was widely considered to be a liar and an impostor By the time he died in 1985 it wasn't until 12 years after his death in 1997 that his incredible tale of survival could finally be verified and proven.

  • The wreck of the H.

  • M s Perseus was finally discovered at the bottom of the Mediterranean that year, off the coast of Catalonia and across the Siris of dives to it.

  • Researchers discovered the empty torpedo tube that capes and made his bunk in the escape hatch compartment opened exactly as he had described it, and even the bottle of rum that he claimed he had taken a final sweep from before leaving.

  • The death was confirmed to be at 171 ft, and the gauges, reading 270 ft, were indeed broken inside.

  • The wreck of the Perseus was found exactly the way that John Capes had described it, which forever vindicated him and his story as the submarines sole survivor.

  • It simply tragic that he didn't live long enough to get the recognition that he deserved.

  • The discovery of the Perseus wreck in the nineties gave historians all the information they needed to verify.

  • John keeps the story.

  • So if you're curious to learn more about what exactly happened the night it sink and how capes managed to survive, you should check out the full feature length documentary The Perseus Survivor available.

  • Right now, on Curiosity Stream, you'll see the actual submarine itself and dive deep into the evidence of John Cape's extraordinary survival, with farm or information in detail than you just watched in this video.

  • But even better, in addition to the cool submarine footage and storytelling, you'll also get free access to my own streaming service nebula, a service made by online educational creators like myself, where we can publish our original thoughtful content without fear of ever getting de monetized or buried by the dreaded YouTube algorithm.

  • By signing up for Curiosity, Stream and Nebula, you are directly empowering me and dozens of other creators to make cool, exclusive content that we might not get the chance to make otherwise content.

  • Like all of my own real life lore videos that go up at least 24 hours early before they do here on YouTube and all without any ads or sponsorships and exclusive content, you can only find on Nebula like Money, a game show hosted by Tom Scott and featuring a bunch of my creator friends in a Siris of psychological experiments that test their willingness to work together.

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  • That's half the usual price and for double the streaming services, so now is definitely the best time for you to sign up.

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  • Everyone wins and, as always, thank you for watching.

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The Man Who Survived for 18 Months On an Island After His Submarine Sank

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/30
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