‘The Elephant Voyage’ (Kindle edition), by Joan Druett, is an engaging read. Like a modern day Robinson Crusoe adventure, ‘Elephant Voyage’ tells a chilling latter-day real-life story, in which a group of seal fishermen are castaway on a desolate and uninhabited sub-Antarctic island through a deliverable act of negligence by the skipper of the ‘Sarah W. Hunt’.
The fact the men are eventually rescued is remarkable, and almost didn’t happen. Much vital time was lost as officials argue over cost and availability of vessels to attempt a search and rescue mission. In the end it is only providence that saves the men’s lives.
And why the captain abandoned them and sailed away leaving them to suffer starvation and potential death, is the question everyone asks.
Carried away with the dramatic events as they enfolded, exceptionally well told by Druett, I was jolted back to reality once the legal proceedings begin. Here the book takes on a non-fiction feel with the men’s evidence being repeated almost word for word.
‘Elephant Voyage’ is a remarkable story of survival and rescue, tied up in red tape and government bureaucracy, which must be fully unravelled if the reasons behind Captain Miner’s blatant act of neglect are to be thoroughly investigated.