But murderer Harvey forced Terry Jo back below deck, where the 11-year-old sat cowering in fear. It wasn’t until the water began to fill her cabin that she decided to go back on deck.
Harvey had opened up the ship’s sea valves with the intention of scuttling the vessel and gave Terry Jo a rope attached to a dinghy to hold. Later, Fassbender’s friend, Richard Logan, speculated that Harvey had planned on killing the girl too.
Instead, Terry Jo dropped the rope and Harvey dove into the sea to catch up with the dinghy – his lifeline. He abandoned Terry Jo on a sinking ship – but the 11-year-old was much tougher than she looked.
Terry Jo untied a tiny cork float and sailed away on it just as the ship sank. She drifted for the next four days without food or water. After a while she began to hallucinate – but she never lost faith in that she would be saved.
Eventually Captain Theo, a Greek freighter was passing through the Northwest Providence Channel that cuts through the Bahamas, discovered and rescued Terry Jo. She had a high fever and was suffering from sunburn and severe dehydration. One of the crew snapped a photograph of her tiny body floating on the boat in the huge ocean – it made headlines around the world.
The day previously, Harvey was found by the coastguard, floating in the dinghy alongside Renee’s dead body. The killer captain said a storm has battered the ship and sparked a fire and had sunk. He said he had unsuccessfully attempted to revive the girl after finding her in the water.