Though 23 prisoners tried to escape and were returned to their cells, others had a worse fate. Six prisoners were shot dead while trying to escape. The guards showed no mercy, and shooting was the best choice because no one wanted them off the island.
Five prisoners made it to the water but drowned. They had few options, and swimming was one of them. Whether the water was too cold or they were poor swimmers doesn’t matter. They weren’t seen again. The four who made it faced those realities.