From the cover: The waters of Antarctica, June 6th 1998. 23-year-old Matt Lewis has just started his dream job. An observer aboard a deep sea fishing boat, he is mesmerized by his new surroundings: glistening icebergs, killer whales and majestic albatross. As the crew haul in the longline for the day, the waves seem bigger than usual - they are casting shadows on the deck. A storm is brewing. What follows is an astonishing story of human courage, folly and tragedy. With the captain missing, and the crew forced to abandon ship, Lewis leads the escape onto three life rafts, where the battle for survival begins.
This was a fascinating look at a subject I've never given a thought to - longline fishing on the southern ocean for Patagonian Toothfish!
If you remember that solo sailor, Tony Bullimore, who got himself lost down there a few years back, you will recall just how far away from everything and how dangerous that particular patch of water is! The Falklands are hundreds of miles away, Chile is a little closer, and Antarctica's South Georgia island is your best bet if you're in trouble, only 200 nautical miles as the crow flies. So if you're bopping about the briny in a little patch of rubber, you wouldn't be feeling too positive about a happy ending.
The sheer of size the area; the challenges of having an international crew and the language barrier that presented; the short-cuts regarding regulations, safety gear, and modifications to the boat; the weather - a force 7 gale, 10 metre waves, blowing ice and and snow on the water; and the blatant incompetence by the skipper ... all these things combined to create a disaster of epic proportions.
I borrowed the Playaway format and Malcolm Hamilton narrated the book well, handling the many accents with aplomb. We also have this book in hard copy, large print and CD audio format. This hour-by-hour account will be enjoyed by readers of non-fiction classics such as 'A Perfect Storm' and 'Touching the Void'.