“Last man off” by Matt Lewis


This is less of a light vacation reading. The title sounded appealing though. The author is a surviver of a fishing boat which saw its end in tough Arctic waters. It is a true story with facts narrated by the author.image The book is written ten years after the event and is a diary of tragic events. The author’s bitterness against an ill-prepared boat and team to face an unforgiving Ocean’s fury is transpiring even after a decade after the sinking, which makes it somehow hard to read. The best part, to me, was the eulogy to the rescuers, up to naming his daughter after the ship thar rescued him – Camila.
Matt, a frustrated maritime graduate, jumps into an opportunity to work as an observer of international fishing standards on a boat sailing south from Cape Town. His initial enthusiasm to practice what he studied faced the test of fishing industry reality. I could sense his precaution dictated by a certain courtesy to the corporation behind the unfortunate boat. This and other aspects make the book a quasi documentary or a quasi novel. I could not decide which prevailed.
The book might be a delight to sea and ships lovers. It appears to be well researched on how shall a fishing boat should be equipped, at parts too technical perhaps for non- specialists. But maybe it was just the perception of my on-vacation-mood brain.

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