Become a

Abandon Ship: Stories of Survival

This gallery is now CLOSED to make way for new changes…

New Ship Model Gallery
Opening March 2017
A new gallery of large-scale models from the Museum’s premier collection will highlight 19th-and 20th-century ships. Also featured will be a new ship model maker’s stand.

Speed and Innovation in the America’s Cup
Opening May 25, 2017
This exhibition will feature cutting-edge technologies that have redefined competition in the America’s Cup.

As long as people have been going to sea there have been shipwrecks. Those who endure the wreck must face the ordeal of trying to survive in a hostile and unforgiving environment. This dynamic exhibition explores the aftermath of marine catastrophes through the perspective of those who have been cast adrift on the sea.


Naufrage Du FLoridian, 1849

Naufrage Du Floridian, 1849

Mayday, Mayday, Mayday!!

Immerse yourself in the chaos of sinking ships through a multi-media production.  Experience the terror of witnessing a ship breaking apart and sinking… then hear the cries of passengers in a their struggle to survive.  Feel the panic and anxiety as you realize you are lost, and alone in the ocean. 

“A scene of horror instantly presented itself on deck…The moment the ship broke in two, her cargo, mostly merchandise, floated out and intermingled with the drowning sufferers.”


Steve Callahan

Steve Callahan in the Rubber Ducky III

This can’t be…

Experience being cast adrift through narratives of survivors, including those from the RMS Titanic.  Hear the story of Steven Callahan, who drifted alone for 76 days after abandoning his sinking yacht.  Learn the basics of surviving at sea and test your knowledge in an interactive game of “Life & Death.”

“It is my eleventh day in the raft. Each day passes as an endless age of despair.” – Steven Callahan   


Wreck of the trawler, Jeanne Gougy, 1962

Wreck of the trawler, Jeanne Gougy, 1962

Salvation for some

Celebrate dramatic rescues. Watch as the Coast Guard makes a daring sea rescue.  Wearing headphones at the “Kerikeri Radio Station,” listen to transmissions of heroic attempts to save sailors during a horrific storm.

“Tears of joy were shed as we all embraced. We were among the very lucky.  We realized once again that only a miracle saved us. Thank God for miracles!” – Anna Maria Conte Greene, survivor from the Italian liner Andrea Doria


A special thanks to our Abandon Ship Sponsors:


David F. Host

& Family

Landfall logo
W.M. Jordan logo


Jim Bayne

Newport News Shipbuilding logo

Dominion Terminal Associates logo

Dominion Terminal Associates




Alta Lakes Commerce Center
Anonymous in honor of Alyn Fife
Mr. John Ashby, Senior Search and Rescue Officer, Rescue Coordination Centre, New Zealand
Ms. Marleene Boyd, Bil Laxon Maritime Library, Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum
Mr. Steven Callahan
Mr. Bob Carey, ICOM Radio
Mr. Jim Cermak, Survitec Survival Products
Mr. Tony Cheema, Sifa Design Group
Mr. Jon Cullen
Mr. Charles Daneko, Winslow Raft Company
Mr. Tim Dowdle and the staff of Dreams Factory
Dr. Daniel Finamore, Peabody Essex Museum
Mr. Gary Hannam, Tanlay AG, Switzerland
Mr. Bonner Lee Johnson, Sr.
Ms. Karen Kennedy
Mr. Alan Lazee, Katadyn North America
Mr. Benjamin Mendlowitz
Ms. Jan Miller and the staff of Mellen Street Graphics
Mr. Bob Pro, ACR Electronics
Mr. Paul Restall, Torpedo Bay Navy Museum, Devonport New Zealand
Ms. Joanna Richards and Ms. Claire Jameson, The New Zealand Film Archive
Mr. Dennis Ricketts
Commander Larry Robbins, Royal New Zealand Navy (Ret.)
Mr. John Rousmaniere
Mr. Terry Stroud, In Your Ear Music
Mr. Thomas E. Taliaferro
Mr. William Terrell
Mr. John Thommen, Ocean Marketing
Mr. Michael Tougias
Ms. Joy Wheeler, Assistant Picture Librarian, Royal Geographical Society
Mr. Ken Wright