One of the nine nominees for the Best Picture Oscar announced Thursday morning has a strong Maine connection.

Steven Callahan – an author, shipwreck survivor and marine designer – was a key consultant on the epic shipwreck film  “Life of Pi.” 

Callahan, who lives in Lamoine, near Ellsworth, was asked to consult on the film by director Ang Lee because of his own shipwreck survival. In 1982 as he was crossing the Atlantic alone, his sailboat was presumably struck  by a whale. He abandoned the boat and spent two and a half months at sea in a raft before being rescued.

He wrote the best-selling book “Adrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea” based on his experiences. During filming of “Life of Pi” Callahan advised on details such as how a boat would sink, and what a survivor might do while trying to stay alive in a raft. He also helped design rafts used in the filming and traveled to locations in Taiwan.

This story has been updated: read the full version here.

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