In September 1860, a U.S. Navy ship, the Constellation, was in hot pursuit of a suspected slave ship, near the Congo River Delta. It was then that the slavers came up with a horrifying plan.
In the past two centuries of combat, ships have played a major role in rescuing thousands of people--some injured, some in need of transport, and others fleeing for their lives. Board some of history's most remarkable rescue ships, from the USS Constellation, which hunted down illegal slave ships to the most unlikely rescue ship of World War II, a tiny workboat that saved hundreds of Danish Jews from Nazi terror.
Watch this episode online now.
Stream hundreds of shows by starting your free trial to Smithsonian Channel Plus. Check the availability of this title and explore our vast library of original documentaries and series.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.