Pablo E. Pérez-Mallaína

This is a historian with fascinating interests: daily life on the Indies fleets in the 16th century; shipwrecks; civic reactions to 18th century earthquakes in Peru; general history of Latin America, and more. He says he got interested in shipwrecks because he wanted to see how people recovered from that kind of trauma, so he could learn some of their techniques.

When you are on a sinking ship and must throw things overboard to try to save it, you are to throw in this order: the King’s silver; other peoples’ silver; women, children and old men; slaves; apprentices; seamen; officers; captain. This is apparently the meaning of “women and children first!” and “the captain stays with his ship!”

These rules were not and are not followed, however. In a real shipwreck survivors tend to be young, strong men because they can beat most other people to the first places on lifeboats and rafts.


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