|Desperate Journey is based on a true story. See details and pics of the actual case below.|
Facts and Timeline in the case
August 1991: Allison Wilcox (33) prepares to set sail on a journey with Eddy Provost and Mar Dupavillion, but she has a bad premonition. She expresses her concern to her fiance Steve Voorhies.
DayOne: Friday (which can mean bad luck in the sailing world) the weather was beautiful and calm
Day Two: The weather changes drastically. A storm hits and their raft capsizes. They endured 70ft waves, and they were forced to abandon the raft completely and ride out the storm. After the storm they were left with nothing, no food, no drinking water, and no communication. They did everything they could to try to draw attention to themselves so that they could be rescued. Eventually they did everything they could to survive from fishing to eventually drinking the salt water. They were rescued after 12 days. As the helicopter crew pulled them from the water, sharks could be seen circling them nearby according to helicopter crew member Steve Doerner:
"There were 12 to 15 sharks less than 10 feet from the raft,'' said Doerner, 24, of Sandusky, Ohio. ''I couldn't think about them. I had to stay focused on my job, because that's what I'm trained to do." (USA Today August, 29, 1991 by Steve Marshall)
They are airlifted to a hospital where they all recover and tell the story of their ordeal.
Dec 5, 1993: The movie premiers on ABC. Mel Harris plays Allison Wilcox. She was very moved by the story of this courageous woman who had survived Leukemia and 12 days at sea despite being 5 1/2 months pregnant. On the set, Mel Harris, as well as the rest of the actors, were in physical and emotional pain from all of the stunts. Mel says that she recognized that the little pain they went through was nothing compared to the real people:
"You read on the first page of the script that it's based on a true story, but when you get to the end, you have to go back to the front to see if it really says that," says the actress. (The Gazette (Montreal BYLINE: CHRISTY SLEWINSKI; NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Dec 1993)
Allison gave birth to a healthy baby boy Adrian David Voorhies
TidbitsTheir goal was to reach Newport, R.I. in 4 1/2 days.
She was with 2 other experienced sailors Eddy Provost and Marc Dupavillion
Allison Wilcox is still a clinical psychologist and lives in Texas. Her son Adrian Voorhies, a history major, is all grown up and seems to be doing well.