My uncle Marlin served in the Merchant Marines from the early 1930s until the end of World War II. He was on three different ships that were torpedoed and sunk in the Pacific Ocean. One was loaded with troops; none of them survived the sinking. He spent 30 days in a life raft on one such occasion. The trip started with 52 men; he and only either two or seven others survived. He spent a few months on the "beach" before returning to service. Unfortunately, he ended his own life in 1946 at 39.