When the U.S.S. Indianapolis was struck by a Japanese submarine on July 30, 1945, the problems had just begun for its nearly 1,200-member crew. The Navy took four days to even hear of the wreck, and cast on the open seas the sailors suffered from dehydration and delirium. But more frightening than exposure to the elements was the exposure to sharks. One by one the sailors were picked off by oceanic whitetips. Others, who died from salt poisoning or thirst, were dragged off to the depths by the hungry sharks. Of the approximately 900 who survived the initial wreckage of their ship, only 317 lived to see the end of the four-day battle for survival.