DEATH ON THE ICE by Cassie & Harold Horwood Brown


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A precise yet dramatic and moving recreation of the 1914 Newfoundland seal hunting disaster in which 132 men were abandoned on Arctic ice through the ineptitude and callousness of leaders, inadequate equipment and a chain of circumstances which pointed up the plight of sealers before reforms were instituted. Sent off their ship for a share of the ""swiles,"" the men were ordered to walk over the ice to the Stephano, commanded by the driving Captain Adam Kean, father of the Newfoundland's captain, who was to direct them to fresh seals. But a storm was on the way, and the men were turned away from the Stephano by Captain Kean and given inaccurate directions. Because the Newfoundland had no wireless (it had been removed by the company as an economy), the men were assumed to be safe on the Stephano. Details of the ordeal were pieced together from the testimony of the 47 survivors. In the investigation after the tragedy, Kean was the prime target, but the real culprits -- the exploitative sealing companies -remained for the time, relatively untouched. A cruel tale about the tyranny of man and nature told with taste and skill.

Pub Date: Nov. 3rd, 1972
Publisher: Doubleday