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A makeshift raft
In 1816, four ships set sail for Senegal to re-establish the French presence there. Among them, the frigate “La Méduse” was commanded by Hugues Duroy de Chaumareys, a royalist who had not sailed for 25 years. On board, 400 sailors, soldiers and settlers. An incompetent, the captain ran his ship aground on the shallow waters off what is now Mauritania. He embarked with the civilians on the lifeboats and crammed 152 soldiers and officers onto a makeshift raft. After 15 days of drifting, only 15 survivors would be rescued. The captain was sentenced to 3 years in prison and 25 years of repentance.
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