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Alone: Lost Overboard in the Indian Ocean

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  846 ratings  ·  113 reviews
In April 2013 a global breaking-news story surfaced on social media and in the world press, and rapidly gathered momentum. A South African man had fallen overboard in the night during a storm in remote Indonesian waters, without anyone else on board realising. Eight hours later a frantic search was underway. The incident caught the world's attention as readers were instant ...more
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published October 6th 2016 by Robinson
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Petra-X Off having adventures
First dnf of 2018. Having been an ocean sailor and hoping to be so again soon I love books about sailing and the sea. (view spoiler)The beginning of the book where the author falls overboard starts on a high which is not maintained. Instead the author chooses to write about the ...more
Valerity (Val)
This is a stunning story of man against the sea when Brett Archibald suddenly blacks out and goes overboard in a storm while on a trip with his buddies to do some surfing on the first night of a 10 day charter in Sumatra, Indonesia. The worst part is that no one notices it and it's not discovered for about 8 hours and by then the boat has traveled a long distance. When Brett comes to in the ocean, choking on salt water, he's in for the battle of his life. A test of will, of endurance, faith, and ...more
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my kind of thriller, forget murder mysteries, the power of the sea always takes my breath away and makes my heart pound! I felt like I was in the water with him the entire time, the shock, fear, heartbreak was palpable, to be honest, i wanted to skip 200 pages and get to the rescue, I just couldn't stand the suspense!

I listened and read the kindle simultaneously, I found technical errors in both. The audio skipped the preface, the part where he falls overboard which is rather crucial to
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a gripping read! Fans of Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken will devour this memoir. Imagine puking your guts out from food poisoning in the middle of the night on a boat during a storm in remote Indonesian waters, losing consciousness and waking up plunged into the sea as your boat sails obliviously away. This was Brett Archibald's fate. He was swept over with nothing but what he was wearing -- shorts and a t-shirt. He was already dehydrated from the food poisoning. How he survived 28 hours was ...more
A.B. Gayle
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Alone but not alone

This captivating tale about a man's single minded determination to survive is matched by the dogged involvement of so many other people. During the ordeal, strangers, family and friends did their bit to find him and in doing so their lives as well as his were changed.
A harrowing event like this inevitably leaves its mark on all, but hopefully lessons have been learned about life and humanity. We all respond differently to crisis. There is no wrong or right way. This book shows
Jan 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great story, however it is very poorly written
Book Club Mom
In April 2013, Brett Archibald, a 50-year-old South African businessman, was on a surf charter boat off the Mentawai Islands of Indonesia. It was the middle of the night and the seas were storming. Archibald had food poisoning and went on deck to be sick. He lost his footing, fell off the boat and no one saw. He spent nearly 29 hours in the Indian Ocean before a miracle happened. That miracle was Tony “Doris” Eltherington, captain of an Australian charter, and a seafaring legend, who acted on a ...more
Sara Wortman
I won this book in a book giveaway. Honestly, I was intrigued by the chapters where Brett is at sea and describing what happened at each hour. There are so many people that were mentioned in this book, that it was hard to keep track of who people were at times. The chapters about his friends and different boats aiding the search were quite boring. His survival is incredible and his resilience in such circumstances is very commendable. A good read for someone who enjoys true survival stories.
John Wiltshire
This is a good read. Despite knowing the outcome (the guy is writing the book, so I took a leap of faith that he'd survived), it's still a very tense, harrowing story. Archibald reconstructs his 29 hours in the ocean from three povs: his, those searching for him, and his friends and family at home in Cape Town. It's blended quite well, with back stories on the most important characters, especially 'Doris' the Australian captain who eventually found him.
However I had to laugh today when finishin
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
When I took sailing lessons, overboard drills always made me a little nervous, as you couldn't help but imagine the worst-case scenario. This powerful true story was the worst case scenario every boater fears. It is almost unimaginable for someone to go overboard into a wild sea during a storm at night. And yet, it happened, and the author, Brett Archibald, through sheer grit, faith, and determination, lived to tell his tale, against incredible odds. I listened to this audio book over a period o ...more
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher - In April 2013, fifty-year-old Brett Archibald was on board a surf-charter boat, making a night-time crossing of the remote Mentawai Strait off Sumatra, Indonesia. In the middle of a storm, ill with severe food poisoning, he blacked out. When he came to, he found himself in the raging sea, sixty miles from shore. As Brett saw the lights of his boat disappearing into the dark
Isabella Zink
May 30, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Reece Smith
I don't know what it was about this one, but it just wasn't an interesting read. It was more of an author's catharsis (indeed, Brett wrote the book partly for his children to know the story and to come to terms with what happened), and sometimes reminded me of one of those sentimental, feel-good, proof of God type books you see being sold at the grocery store.
For me, the most interesting part is the epilogue because there is actual research and references regarding the experience of being stran
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Going straight into the dislike. The ending. I wish he had told more of the rescuing, recuperating, heading home and seeing his wife and family and maybe throw in a six month epilogue. I would’ve liked to have known how his health was doing, was he having PTSD? I mean, what’s going on with you mentally?
Erin Haslett
Nov 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sorry, I have to be honest when I review; I could not get into this one. I felt like if he author got into his story a little bit more first before going into his background perhaps that would have grabbed my attention more. ...more
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow loved this book. It is so much more than just a story of a South African being rescued in the wide oceans of Indonesia. It is a story that if life is meant to happen it will, and the lesson he learnt was to enjoy your life every day and the 3 F's - Faith, Family and Friends. But as he says, you do not have to fall overboard to learn these lessons. Great book, loved it!! ...more
Barbara Nutting
If this were not a true story it would be hard to believe. What a grueling experience, I was practically choking on the salt water with him.

It got a little repetitious by 3/4 of the way through and I was never be able to keep all those people straight (didn’t effect the story). It was a great tale of faith and survival.
Rhonda Lomazow
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For 28 hours Brett Archibald had to survive counting on himself his strength his mind.Imagine the nightmare of falling off a ship into dark waters this is so scary the things nightmares are made of.A well written tense page turner as we watch Brett’s fight to survive& the search for him,
I won't rate with stars a tragic true story. What Brett endured is beyond comprehension. 29 hours drifting in the ocean. Not an enjoyable read but one I was interested in reading just to see what this person went through and how strong he was to have endured. Amazing. ...more
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing story. I read the book in three days and felt I couldn't put it down. A story about determination, faith and a miracle! Everyone should read this book. ...more
Aytaç Direk
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I decide to start company in my mind. I name my mouth 'Bob' ; he will run operations. My left nostril is 'Emily', director of sales, and my right nostril is the marketing director, 'Hilary'. I'm the CEO. ...more
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This should have been great - a story of unprecedented survival, fortitude, and volunteer cooperation. However, the preoccupation with the "amazing coincidences" surrounding some of the details resulted in too large a cast of characters to keep track of. While I value acknowledging all the people involved in a rescue, for the sake of the narrative it was too much superfluous information. While Brett's survival is remarkable, the monotony of his time in the water is reflected in the chapters writ ...more
Jan 15, 2017 rated it liked it
The story of survival is amazing in itself. I'm not physically fit nor can I swim, so the chapters about Archibald's experiences in the water were quite terrifying to read.
I wasn't as interested much in the chapters about his family's hand wringing, to be honest. That could have been condensed and perhaps focused more on their efforts to gather together help for search and rescue.
I have to say that the part about the goldfish incident really put me off Archibald and tarnished the story somewhat
Robin Harris
Jan 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Robin by: Andrew & Leona
Shelves: 2017-reads
An incredible story and an amazing feat of physical and mental endurance and stamina to have never lost hope and kept himself going for so long.

I did find it difficult to remember and keep track on who each person named in the story was, simply by the sheer number of people involved - on the same boat, the rescue boat, plus friends and family back home in Camps Bay. Finally, I felt like the story could have done with some editing down with some of the background and unrelated detail left out, bu
Malin Friess
In 2013 Brett Archibald became sick with food poisoning on surf charter off the coast of Indonesia. After stepping out on the deck to get some fresh air he passed out and fell overboard with no one watching. He tread water for over 24 hours, got sunburned, stung by jelly fish, hallucinated, and caught a few drops of rain water in his mouth.

The feat of survival by Archibald is remarkable and speaks to the human condition to survive. I thought the writing was subpar--and skimmed many chapters. 2 s
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe 2.5 stars, since I do find the actual treading-in-the-water-for-28-hours thing fascinating. While it was better written then some survival stories I've read (I'm looking at you, Aron Ralston), there was not a lot of interesting parts in the book. By about halfway through I was skimming to the ocean scenes. Time and time again I am made aware that it is just too hard to make full blown novel from even the most amazing survival story. ...more
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read. Well written.
Jolyce Abernathy
I skimmed this book mainly reading the chapters about his experiences in the water. Unimaginable story of survival, strength, positive thinking and the importance of human relationships.
John Reid
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alone by Brett Archibald is an inspiring tale of human survival, the story of a man lost overboard in the dark hours of early morning in the middle of Mentawai Strait (off Sumatra), with a widely-separated island archipelago all that exists between him and the open Indian Ocean. Miraculously, he is found again after twenty-seven hours alone in the dark, stormy sea.
Nine lifelong South African friends, all middle-aged and generally successful in business, set off on a surfing holiday to sickle-sh
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