In the depths of Antarctic winter, hundreds of miles from land or rescue, a small fishing boat is swallowed by waves as high as houses. The captain is fatally slow to act, and then paralyzed by fear. The officers flee for their lives. Only the actions of Matt Lewis, a 23-year-old British marine biologist and one of the most inexperienced men aboard, will save the lives of the South African crew. Lewis is the last man off the sinking boat, and leads the escape onto three life rafts. There the battle for survival begins.
A rollicking story of heroism on the high seas this may be, but it is also an important contribution to the ongoing debate over safety at sea. The incident it relates occurs in the seas of Antarctica at the height of winter and during a terrifying storm. A small unseaworthy fishing boat is sinking, the captain is unable to take any decisions, the crew flees and it remains to a 23-year old marine biologist, the author, to save the day. With three life rafts, he facilitates an escape, but simply getting onto the rafts is just the beginning of the fight for survival.
'A story that reminds us of the unforgiving nature of the sea and the courage that lies within the everyday heroes that have found themselves in hell' -- Bear Grylls
'A dramatic tale of survival in one of the most brutal situations on earth. Feels like reading the diary of a doomed man ... so personal and chillingly real; totally takes you there in a way that is not always comfortable' -- Steve Backshall
'Reads like a sinister version of The Perfect Storm...Thrilling, compelling, unsettling, rewarding ... This breakneck race of a book isn't just required reading for fans of waterborne peril; Harvard MBAs could also scour the pages as a case study in dysfunctional workplaces and woeful man management. It's like the Perfect Storm, but with gruesomely, even murderously, imperfect people' Sunday Times
'A heart-thumping tale of tragedy and survival - minus the Hollywood ending' Daily Telegraph
Publication date: 30/04/2015
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
|Publication date:||30th April 2015|
|Publisher:||Penguin Books Ltd|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, Travel,|
|Categories:||True stories of heroism, endurance & survival, Maritime history,|
Matt Lewis was born in Bristol, England, in 1974. He trained as a marine biologist first at Bangor University and then at Aberdeen University. He now lives with his wife and two children in Aberdeen. Last Man Off is Matt's first book.More About Matt Lewis