The True Story of Philip Ashton, Island Castaway

If you recall the sitcom Gilligan's Island, you know that the castaways stranded on a remote island had an awful lot of visitors from the outside world, but those visitors always managed to get away and leave the main cast behind. That was also the fate of Philip Ashton, who was just a teenager when his fishing boat was hijacked by pirates in 1722. He was forced into piracy, then escaped, only to find himself alone on Roatan, a then-uninhabited island off the coast of Honduras. He had no gear, no tools, and no hope for rescue. Over the next couple of years, Ashton was joined twice by other castaways, and once a ship approached, but instead of a rescue, they shot at him!

Ashton finally made it back to civilization, and a book was written about his experience. However, few readers believed it was a true story. Instead, they considered his account a knockoff of another book that had been published just a few years earlier- Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Read the real story of castaway Philip Ashton at Amusing Planet.

(Image credit: Jonathan Palombo)

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