by Jonathan Franklin
“438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea” is an amazing and heroic story of a hardwired optimist who knew how to make the absolute most out of the most absolutely dire of circumstances. Jonathan Franklin is the author of this perfect book. An extraordinary biography of the story of a man who persevered over unsurmountable chances of survival. To think that any human being could endure drifting on the open ocean, in a small fishing boat for 438 days with no water, no food, and other than his bare hands, no tools with which to fish is more than hard to comprehend. Salvador Alvarenga’s story of survival will surely go down as one of the most spectacular survival stories in modern history. Jonathan Franklin was more than diligent in his research. Consulting with experts such as the US Coast Guard, Marine Biologists at renowned institutes; Scripps Institution of Oceanography, International Research Center, University of Hawaii and phycologists in the field of trauma and survival. This is more than a story of survival. It is a story of perseverance, resilience, will, determination and faith beyond anything you could imagine.
The exceptional story of strong will and survival skills allowing this individual to barely survive. First of all, this guy’s background was instrumental in his ability to survive. A commercial fisherman who also loved to hunt for his food made him a perfect candidate to survive. And he is somewhat of a “tinkerer” making things and salvaging anything that may be of assistance. But to make it within sight of the coast before his engine dies and pushes him 4,000 miles the other direction? An added feature of this book is an understanding of a unique dead part of the Pacific Ocean where he is trapped for a long period. But also a part that has great water and great sea life and birds for food. Of course, you still have to be good enough to catch them which is what makes this book so stunning. And finally, he makes it to shore in a horrid state. Even here the story is fascinating about how he is found and what he was mentally thinking. Overall, “438 Days” is an amazing story, filled with courage, fear, defeat and, ultimately, triumph. An excellent read, and a real page-turner.