Acts 27:17 says that during the frightful voyage of Paul that ended in shipwreck on Malta, “Because they [i.e., the sailors] were afraid they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along” (NIV). Syrtis was a treacherous area off the coast of North Africa in which ships could flounder in shallow seas choked by seaweed. Once beyond the sandbar, returning to the open sea was nearly impossible, and dangerous rocks along the coast prevented them from arriving safely to shore.
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Why were the sailors afraid of the Syrtis sands? (Acts 27:17) by Gordon Franz