She Boarded A Boat With Her Family — Days Later, She Was Found Adrift At Sea
In 1961, 11-year-old Terry Jo Duperrault was found floating in the Northwest Providence Channel in the Bahamas.
She was all by herself atop a cork float, where she had been for the last four days without food or water. After she was pulled aboard the Greek freighter Captain Theo and flown by helicopter to a hospital, she told the horrifying story of waking up on a sailboat to find that her whole family was dead.
Terri Jo’s father, Dr. Arthur Duperrault, always wanted to take his family sailing, so on November 8, 1961, he, his wife Jean, and their three children, 14-year-old Brian, seven-year-old Renee, and Terry Jo started a trip from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas.
They sailed on the Bluebelle, a two-masted sailboat, and brought on Julian Harvey, a decorated World War II and Korean War pilot to captain the ship. His wife, Dene, also came along.
The Duperraults were having an amazing vacation full of snorkeling and collecting shells, but the return trip to the U.S. ended in almost all of their deaths. One night, Terry Jo woke up below deck to hear her brother yelling, “Help, Daddy! Help!” When everything went silent, she got out of bed and came across the bodies of her mother and brother lying in a pool of blood.
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