From the dust jacket:
Here, for the first time, is told the full story of what must be one of the most terrifying episodes in the annals of the sea and, at the same time, one of the most astonishing instances of human endurance.
Shortly after the fall of Singapore a Dutch ship, the Rooseboom, sailed from Padang with 500 evacuees, mostly British civilians and soldiers. She was torpedoed in the dead of the night on the way to Ceylon, and sank within a few minutes.
Only one lifeboat floated and into it crowded 135 human beings packed so tightly that they could only stand up. They were adrift mid-ocean, with but a few handfuls of food and a few mouthfuls of water and they were almost naked.
For 28 days the tiny boat drifted helplessly for nearly 1000 miles until it grounded on the shores of an island off Sumatra. Of the 135 souls on board at the start, only four had survived: two mad Javanese, a Chinese girl, and one white man – Walter Gibson of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
Within the covers of this book, the hard Scot whose life was so miraculously saved, recounts the story of what happened in The Boat during its macabre voyage across the Indian Ocean.