Orphaned at Sea: The 11-Year-Old Girl Who Survived 4 Days on a Lifeboat


Arthur Duperrault’s life long dream was to spend a year living at sea, travelling from one island to the next. At the age of fourty, the Wisconsin optometrist finally felt it was the right time to make his dreams a reality. To ensure life at sea met his expectations, Arthur decided to embark on a one week trip with his family as a trial run.


Arthur, his wife Jean and their three young children, Brian, Terry Jo and Rene, boarded a chartered yacht that took them to Fort Lauderdale. Once the Duperrault’s arrived in Florida on Wednesday, November 8, 1961, they rented a sailboat called Bluebelle and continued their trip to the Bahamas.


Julian Harvey, an experienced sailor and former Air Force fighter pilot was hired by Arthur to be the captain of the Bluebelle. Julian’s wife Mary Dene decided to come along on the trip as well. Off the two families went on their exciting voyage.

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