Real-Life Robinson Crusoe Castaway Pedro Serrano Part 2

About the real-life Robinson Crusoe Pedro Serrano, biography and history of the castaway.

REAL-LIFE ROBINSON CRUSOES

The Castaway: Pedro Serrano

Year Marooned: 1528

After the arrival of the two sailors, new plans for an escape effort commenced. Diving at the site of the sailors' recent wreck, Serrano and his companions salvaged some iron parts to use as nails and tools. They constructed a crude forge and fashioned a bellows from dried and tightened sealskin. In time they had a small vessel in which two people could cross the sea. It was decided that Serrano and the boy would travel to Jamaica, where they would organize a rescue party for the others.

However, on a test run Serrano realized that the boy would never stand the punishment of the sea. Serrano therefore abandoned his own hopes of a timely deliverance. The boy and one of the other men, however, finally insisted on risking the journey--in foul weather--and were never heard from again.

A full three years later--and eight years after Serrano had first come to the island--a ship finally appeared in the distance, apparently roused by smoke signals. As the rescue boat approached, its crew members saw two men, rather, two great, hairy, sun-baked bodies, who flailed their arms about like monsters and cried out in a most desperate fashion. The rescue boat turned back. Once again, Serrano and his companion yelled out in the name of Jesus, asserting their own true brotherhood with any Christians at sea. Realizing then that these men were not devils, the seamen returned and rescued the two unfortunates.

Upon arriving in Havana, Serrano's companion promptly died. Serrano was taken to Spain. He later toured the courts of Europe, where his sealskin garments, knee-length hair and beard, and adventurous tales made him a celebrity. Supported in grand fashion for many years by curious and wealthy patrons, Serrano died a very rich man in 1564. As a final tribute, his name became immortal when a group of shoals in the Caribbean Sea, some 200 mi. off the coast of Nicaragua, was named the Serrana Bank.

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