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To cross the Atlantic single-handed in a rubber dinghy is an astonishing feat in itself. To do so with no supplies apart from a sealed box of emergency rations - which remained intact throughout the crossing - might (and did to the critics) appear to be an act of lunacy.

But far from undertaking this sensational journey in a casual of merely adventurous spirit, Dr Alain Bombard did so only after conducting exhaustive laboratory experiments on food substances provided by the sea. His aim was to prove that a castaway could survive for long periods without additional supplies, and thereby drastically reduce the appalling mortality rate of shipwreck survivors, 90% of whom, even after reaching the safety of a lifeboat, died within three days at sea. His belief that sea water could be drunk in limited quantities challenged one of the most firmly established seafaring taboos. His theory worked on paper; Dr Bombard now decided to put into practice by becoming a guinea-pig in this life-or-death experiment.

His experienced on this extraordinary voyage are described in this classic account with a marvellous simplicity and immediacy that involves the reader with both tiny craft and courageous captain over every perilous mile of ocean. Not only has Dr Alain Bombard succeeded in his wish to write a practical manual for the inspiration and salvation of castaways; he has also won himself a place in the top rank of adventure story writers.

Paperback - 214 pages

Published 1986

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  • Seller location: Hamilton, Waikato, NZ

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