Careening — the worst punishment sailors of the pastBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/careening-the-worst-punishment-sailors-of-the-past
Today the term is found only in the epic sagas of the mariners. Ship, cleaving the sea surface, salt spray, endless horizon and the wind in the sails. The reality was much harsher. Careening – terrible invention of the era of sailing ships, which actually was not as romantic as one might think.
Sea travel was a very risky venture: shipwreck meant certain death, monotonous diet, high risk of becoming a victim of the pirates. People lose teeth due to lack of vitamins. In addition, not everyone was able to conduct a lot of days in a confined space among the same people.
Not surprisingly, the captains of the ships had enormous difficulties with recruitment of seafarers. It is only in the movies are heroes willing to devote life to the sea. In fact, the captains had to assemble a team of vagabonds, beggars, criminals and other shady characters. Because the main task of the officers was to maintain discipline on the ship. An elaborate system of punishments helped to keep the rabble in check. Careening was the most terrible punishment.
The punishment was carried out by means of a rope which passed under the keel of a sailing ship. The ends of the rope was attached to the lower yards. The culprit is firmly tied to this rope, and thrown overboard. At the command of an officer of the sailors began to drag one end of the rope. The poor man was immersed in water, moving under the keel of the vessel, after some time he appeared in the water by another boat. So committed one pulling. The punishment was rarely confined to a single drawing. Usually awarded to two or three.
The danger of careening was not only to long-term immersion in water. Many sailors were able to hold breath for long time. The greatest danger was abundant flora and fauna, which settled on the underwater hull. The keel was entirely covered with terrible growths mollusks in the overgrown algae settled sea worms. Bumpy education hurt the skin, tore the whole pieces. After three-extending under the keel of the sailor's body turned into a bloody mess.
Careening was the most terrible and cruel punishment which is awarded for serious misconduct: rebellion, murder, execution of the order. Less serious crimes were punished by whipping, tying to the mast, run the gauntlet, sticks, dipping into the water, by the beating. But most of all the sailors were afraid it careening, because after almost nobody survived.