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Survivor Remembers the Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis -- Sky Arnold

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -- It was 69 years ago Wednesday that Ed Harrell experienced a terrifying 4 and a half days on the open ocean.

The Marine Corporal was among the 317 sailors and marines who survived the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis.


 "I just felt all the way through that somehow the provence of God was watching over me and brought me through," said Harrell.

Harrell has written a book about his experience titled "Out of the Depths" now available on his website www.indysurvivor.com.

Wednesday Harrell agreed to do an interview with Fox 17 about his experiences.

He says he was sleeping on the deck of the ship when the torpedoes struck.     

 "I could hear the bulkheads breaking below.  I know the ship is doomed," said Harrell.

Hundreds never made it alive to abandon ship and those that did faced constant swimming and severe dehydration.

 "You are desperate for water.  Your tongue is beginning to swell in your mouth," said Harrell.

Lack of water wasn't the only danger either.

Harrell says he and his fellow Marines and Sailors spent a lot of time huddling together for protection from the sharks.

In the Pacific heat not every man was able to keep his composure and some wandered away delirious.

"Maybe one would swim away from the group and you'd hear blood curdling scream and you would look and you see that kapok go under and fins fins fins around the blood," said Harrell.

Somehow he survived living on rainwater and rotten potatoes for food for four and a half days.

That's when a crewmember on a bomber flying by spotted the survivors and called for help.

It's something Harrell still considers a miracle.

 "To see a man's head 6 to 8 inches impossible but in the provence of God he saw us," said Harrell.