150 x 225 x 25mm
The Great Untold Story of Arctic Exploration
"Karluk" set sail on its ill-fated expedition to the Arctic in Jun 1913. Viulhjalmur Stefansson, the Canadian explorer and captain of the ship, led 25 crew members - seamen and scientists - on a journey from which eleven of them would never return. The ship was trapped in the ice after only a few weeks. Ill-prepared and lacking in any effective leadership, the men were forced to abandon "Karluk". They lived on drifting ice-floes for six months while the ship's commander completed a hazardous 700-mile journey to Siberia in search of rescue. By that time eight had set off to reach land; their kit and clothes were found strewn along their trail but they were never seen alive again. A further man shot himself and two died of malnutrition and disease on the desolate snow-covered Wrangel Island, where the rest barely managed to survive until they were recovered.
William Laird McKinlay was only twenty-five years old when he joined the expedition and was, like his companions, untrained in any of the skills essential to survive in the Arctic. No attempt had been made to select the crew for experience or compatibility; lying, stealing and cheating were common and lack of comradeship intensified the terrible deprivations they faced. He tells of their ordeal in a deeply moving account of his extraordinary story - a tribute to human courage and above all to man's endurance and will to live.