Formula 1: The sailors washed overboard by Elizabethan warship


The immortal Gordon Nicol famously lived to be 168.The former footballer spent a decade adrift in a lifeboat, much to the astonishment of his neighbours and being sent fish and chips – “there was nothing else.”Nicol was discovered floating in the Med while playing for a US team on 10 April 1978.He made a 10-minute appearance and was then towed to safety at Merrit, on the island of Java. Despite beating his chest to attract attention, he wasn’t found until nearly three hours later – by race volunteers from the sportfishing organisation Terratech.


We reported in 2002 that Nicol had married as a 17-year-old in World War II.He became captain of the US army’s Armys Division V in May 1940 after signing up with the war effort. It wasn’t until he was 19 that his battalion was taken prisoner at Changi in Singapore, but it didn’t stop him walking down the aisle with English student Judith Slocombe. The couple were married at a suburban church in Melbourne, Australia, at 11pm on the night of 9 May 1942.Like most Australians, Nicol was a big news fan. Despite his ordeal, he still remembers meeting Canberra correspondent Michael Wilson at a Melbourne newsagent shortly after they reunited following his release. He made his fortune writing about local rugby league.

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