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Alone: Lost Overboard in the Indian Ocean

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  541 ratings  ·  76 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
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Hardcover, 384 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Petra X
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
Onceinabluemoon
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
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Marsha
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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Rayan
Jan 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great story, however it is very poorly written
Janet
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
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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.
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.
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
Jett
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
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?
Mariaan
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!!
C
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.
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,
Amanda
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.
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
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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
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Sara ☽
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
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.
Cara
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read. Well written.
Carolyn Thomas
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an AMAZING story - and it's true!
Nine men, friends for decades, set off on a dream surfing vacation to Indonesia to celebrate the 50th birthday of one of the group. The trip did not start well. After eating some tainted food the men all succumbed to food poisoning and while on deck at night during a storm, vomiting violently, Brett fell overboard and watched in horror and disbelief as the boat sailed on without him. It would be 8 hours before he would be missed. Thus began Brett's 28 1/2 ho
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Christine
An astonishing story of survival against all odds. The story weaves together Brett Archibald’s account of his survival against all odds — the account of his friends with whom he was travelling, a group of adventures on another yacht and their skipper, and his wife and family at home. The format worked well as it would have been very monotonous just to read Brett’s account although it was fascinating. There’s not much a man can do treading water for hours and hours except tread water. The flashba ...more
Wit & Wonder Books
** ARC provided by the author for an honest review **

Alone by Brett Archibald is the astonishing true story of his survival at sea for over twenty-eight hours.

On board a surf-charter in the midst of a storm and the cover of night, Brett Archibald found himself experiencing severe food poisoning. His illness was so extreme that he passed out. When he came to he was sixty miles from shore in the middle of a turbulent sea. What happened next was a story of defying great odds, the sea and her creatu
...more
Amy
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Terry Maguire
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-nf, survival-nf
This is an incredible story of mental fortitude during a desperate situation. South African Brett Archibald fell overboard in the Indian Ocean while sick during a terrible storm in Indonesia (on a surf charter) back in 2013. He then survives a grueling 28.5 hours adrift in the ocean. Brett's accomplishments as an athlete definitely gave him an edge in working through the many disappointments and difficulties he encounters while adrift (including being bumped 2x by a blacktip reef shark, getting ...more
Christianne
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! Fabulous non-fiction documentary of a South African man Brett Archibald who goes on a 50th birthday trip of a lifetime - surfing in the Mentawai islands near Sumatra.

" In the middle of a storm, ill with severe food poisoning, Brett was being sick overboard when, for a moment, he blacked out. When he came to, he found himself alone in the raging sea, being spun as if in a washing machine. Sixty miles from shore, Brett saw the lights of his boat disappearing into the darkness. It
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Jayess
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
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
Meghna
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a great book! Because of what it is about. A man surviving 28 and a half hours in the ocean, swimming, without anything to hold on to, with the hallucinations, weakening body and spirits but still with the will to survive. I cant even imagine what Brett Archibald must be like in real life. It is truly inspiring.

The book itself, was written a lot like fiction in the sense that, it felt like it was tried to be made mysterious and climactic even though it might have been better with a tone
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Margery
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
April 2013, fifty-year-old Brett Archibald was with buddies aboard a surf-charter boat, making a night-time crossing of the remote Mentawai Strait off Sumatra, Indonesia. Ill with severe food poisoning, in the middle of a raging storm, Brett blacked out. When he came to, he found himself in the raging sea, sixty miles from shore. FOr 28 hours Brett tred water, battling the elements, sea life, birds and ghost of his imagination.

This first hand account is well told and interesting. Brett makes it
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Renee Galligher
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I saw this audio book on Libby, it really intrigued me, but I was reluctant to listen for a couple of reasons. I'm not sure that I could "stand" the suspense and then the other reason was that some reviews were not good. Well, I am so glad I listened to it. This is an incredible story and well narrated. A story of survival this is unimaginable. It's told from various viewpoints, hour by hour from Brett Archibald, the person lost, as well as by his friends and shipmates and searchers from th ...more
Dillon Jones
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would give it 3.5 stars but rounded up to four because I felt like it was closer to four than 3.

the story is very captivating and in the beginning I was completely drawn in and horrified by the sense of isolation and desperation I felt when trying to imagine what it must have felt like.

with that said I found it difficult to finish as many of the chapters become abit repetitive and found myself more interested in the story of Doris than the story of Brett.

it was a good read and I feel better f
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