Never was an expedition more aptly named. When Earnest Shackleton set off on his renowned expedition to cross the Antarctic, he had by his side one man in whom he had absolute faith, fellow Irishman, Tom Crean.
In 1915, when the expedition’s ship, Endurance, was crushed by ice, the only hope of salvation was for a small crew of six to both sail and row a tiny lifeboat 800 nautical miles from Elephant Island to South Georgia and fetch help. In the face of a mountainous westerly swell, their incredible journey has been described as one of the most extraordinary feats of seamanship and navigation in maritime history. Yet, no matter what nature hurled at him – be it icy rain or blinding sleet – Tom could be heard singing as he held fast to the tiller with frozen hands.
Upon reaching South Georgia, hungry, frostbitten and soaking wet, Tom along with Shackleton and Worsley realised that they were on the uninhabited side of the island.
Undaunted, they then marched, without maps or mountaineering equipment across glaciers, mountains and snowdrifts to miraculously make the first land-crossing of the island and reach sanctuary, where they raised help for their fellow expedition members.