SHACKLETON NEWS ARCHIVE
NEW ZEALAND FILM CREW HONOURS THE OUTSTANDING CAPTAIN AND NAVIGATOR
The first film ever to focus on the unique story of Worsley, Shackleton's Captain (which is also the title of John Bell Thomson's outstanding biography of Worsley) will include elaborate recreations with actor Craig Parker playing Captain Worsley and high definition-quality archive material, bringing the story to life as never before and paying proper due respect to the achievements of this neglected hero.
As captain, Worsley was faced with seemingly insurmountable odds when Endurance became trapped in the pack ice off the coast of Antarctica. The ship was slowly crushed, forcing Worsley and his entire ship's crew to abandon the ship. They spent the next ten months living on the ice, then an ice flow, before rowing three life boats (Worsley skippering one of the three, the Dudley Docker) to a desolate rock called Elephant Island. The men were facing slow starvation in the freezing cold and with no rescue in sight.
Twenty eight lives were in the balance as Worsley braved the worst conditions imaginable; rogue waves, ice bergs and a hurricane in a three week journey modern sailors still consider to be one of the greatest sailing voyages of all time. When a hurricane and prevailing winds forced them to land at a beach at the opposite side of the island, Worsley had to prove his skills a second time: no map of the island existed. Without alpine equipment, with totally inadequate clothing and almost no food and water, they have to cross the island. They succeeded, and the fourth attempt at a rescue succeeded. After nearly two years on the ice not a single man had perished. The expedition was a disaster, but the rescue the greatest in history.
It is not always realised that Worsley commanded 21 vessels in his day, as well as five warships; in the latter guise he was a celebrated and successful hunter of enemy U-boats.