Author(s): Maria Gill
Much has been written about explorer Ernest Shackleton’s three courageous expeditions to the Antarctic. What is not so well-known is the crucial role that Captain Frank Worsley played in saving the lives of the crew of Endurance after it got stuck in ice floes and broke apart during the attempt to traverse the Continent in 1914.
After abandoning their ship, in the Weddell Sea, Frank led marches across the ice in the hope of reaching land. When their ice flow split, endangering all their lives, the survivors boarded three small lifeboats. Frank navigated them to Elephant Island during a terrific storm. When they found the island uninhabited, Frank led a six-man rescue party 1300 kilometres overland to a whaling station in South Georgia.
Without his precise navigation skills and incredible determination, the rescue party would never have made it. One day after reaching the whaling station, he set out again to go back and rescue the other members of the lifeboat party.