About the Ship

"The situation of the ship on the fifteenth morning" painted by H. Smartly, engraved by H. Adlard. From James Smith, The Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul (1880 edition), page 140.

The painting accurately depicts the morning of the shipwreck as described in Acts 27:33-44.  During the night, the crew had desperately cast out sea anchors to keep the ship from wrecking on the shore. The anchors were deliberately thrown from the stern so that the vessel could be turned around to face the beach. Their only hope of survival was to wait until sunrise and then attempt to spot a sandbank on which they could run the ship aground.

Note the anchor lines trailing behind the ship in the painting. Just after daybreak they raised a small foresail to give the ship maneuverability. They then raised the steering oars out of the water and secured them, as is depicted here.  The final step was to cut the anchor lines and to make their desperate course to shore.