An Engraving of Paul's Shipwreck


Photo: An Engraving of Paul's Shipwreck


"The situation of the ship on the fifteenth morning" painted by H. Smartly, engraved by H. Adlard. From James Smith, The Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul (1880 edition), page 140.

This engraving accurately depicts the morning of the shipwreck, described in Acts 27:33-44.  During the night, the crew had desperately cast out sea anchors to keep the ship from wrecking on the shore. The anchors were deliberately thrown from the stern so that the vessel would turn to face the beach. Their only hope of survival was to wait until sunrise and then spot a sandbank on which to run the ship aground.

Note the anchor lines trailing behind the ship in the engraving. These alone kept the ship from smashing onto the shore. After daybreak, a small foresail was raised to give the ship maneuverability and the steering oars were pulled out of the water and secured.  Then the anchor lines were cut and they made their desperate course to shore. In the engraving, the sailors are shown raising and securing the steering oars, just before cutting the ropes.

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