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The Real-Life Story Behind The Shipwreck Movie 'Adrift' Is Almost Unbelievable

Updated 5 Nov 2019 32.6k views13 items

The film Adrift (2018), starring Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin, tells the story of two sailors who manage to survive some incredible odds. A seemingly standard harrowing Hollywood premise, the film is actually based on the true story of Tami Oldham. At only 23 years old, Tami Oldham Ashcraft survived being lost at sea for 41 days after a hurricane ravaged her boat and killed her fiancé, Richard Sharp. She sailed 1,500 miles in a battered yacht, somehow keeping herself alive after the devastating hurricane by repairing the boat and setting a course for land. Oldham faced 41 days of unimaginable physical and emotional turmoil, at some points even hallucinating and hearing voices. But her tenacity and sailing experience allow her to make it to Hawaii alive, against the odds.

The film adaptation of the Tami Oldham and Richard Sharp story stays pretty faithful to their ordeal – but, of course, with some Hollywood license taken that suggests it may not be entirely as somber. The Tami Oldham Ashcraft survival story is one of sheer grit and determination to live – a struggle that continued long after the ordeal itself.

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