Last Man Off
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Last Man Off : A True Story of Disaster and Survival on the Antarctic Seas

By (author) Matt Lewis

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Last Man Off by Matt Lewis - a first-hand account of an ocean tragedy. "Reads like a sinister version of The Perfect Storm ...Thrilling, compelling, unsettling, rewarding". (Sunday Times). "A story that reminds us of the unforgiving nature of the sea and the courage that lies within the everyday heroes that have found themselves in hell". (Bear Grylls, The Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller). The waters of Antarctica, June 6th 1998. 23-year-old Matt Lewis has just started his dream job. An observer aboard a deep sea fishing boat, he is mesmerized by his new surroundings: glistening icebergs, killer whales and majestic albatross. As the crew haul in their lines for the day, the waves seem bigger than usual - they are casting shadows on the deck. A storm is brewing. What follows is an astonishing story of human courage, folly and tragedy. With the captain missing, and the crew forced to abandon ship, Lewis leads the escape onto three life rafts, where the battle for survival begins. This brilliantly written and thrilling hour-by-hour account will be enjoyed by readers of non-fiction classics such as A Perfect Storm and Touching the Void, as well as fans of Deadliest Catch, Captain Phillips and 127 Hours. As heard on BBC Radio 4. Matt Lewis was born in Bristol, England, in 1974. He trained as a marine biologist first at Bangor University and then at Aberdeen University, and has an MSc with distinction in Marine and Fisheries Science. In 1998 he got his first deployment as an observer aboard a deep sea fishing boat in the Southern Ocean. The trip was to end in tragedy. He now lives with his wife and two children in Aberdeen.

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  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 162 x 240 x 27mm | 521g
  • 10 Jul 2014
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • VIKING
  • London
  • English
  • 0241002788
  • 9780241002780
  • 212,175

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Author Information

Matt Lewis was born in Bristol, England, in 1974. He trained as a marine biologist first at Bangor University and then at Aberdeen University. He now lives with his wife and two children in Aberdeen. Last Man Off is Matt's first book.

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Review quote

A story that reminds us of the unforgiving nature of the sea and the courage that lies within the everyday heroes that have found themselves in hell -- Bear Grylls A dramatic tale of survival in one of the most brutal situations on earth. Feels like reading the diary of a doomed man ... so personal and chillingly real; totally takes you there in a way that is not always comfortable -- Steve Backshall Reads like a sinister version of The Perfect Storm...Thrilling, compelling, unsettling, rewarding ... This breakneck race of a book isn't just required reading for fans of waterborne peril; Harvard MBAs could also scour the pages as a case study in dysfunctional workplaces and woeful man management. It's like the Perfect Storm, but with gruesomely, even murderously, imperfect people Sunday Times A heart-thumping tale of tragedy and survival - minus the Hollywood ending Daily Telegraph A thrilling, horrifying and compelling portrait of human survival. Colossal terror unfolds on every page The Bookseller, Books of the Year For his compelling account of the hardships of fishing in remote Antarctic waters, and of what it means to abandon ship in a severe storm with inadequate equipment and a crew unprepared for survival. The book is objective but non-judgmental in its descriptiveness, so heightening the true sense of disaster. The style makes the book accessible to a wide public, but it is also essential reading for seafarers, fishermen and yachtsmen, as it concerns attitudes to safety and survival. A truly life-affirming and influential work. The Mountbatten Maritime Award for best literary contribution - Certificate of Merit

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