On February 22 we were told that we would be returning to Columbia.' In 1955, eight crew members of Caldas, a Colombian destroyer, were swept overboard. Velasco alone survived, drifting on a raft for ten days without food or water. Márquez retells the survivor's amazing tale of endurance, from his loneliness and thirst to his determination to survive.
The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor was Márquez's first major, and controversial, work, published in a Colombian newspaper, El Espectador, in 1955 and then in book form in 1970.