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Last Man Off

Few crews are brave enough to risk their lives fishing on the Southern Ocean. Fewer still get caught out by the decision, and have their boat sink from underneath them.


In 1998, the Sudur Havid was fishing for toothfish in the Southern Ocean when she hit trouble and sank. Her 38 crew abandoned to liferafts with little time to prepare, in failing light and atrocious weather, not knowing whether rescue was on its way.


Matt, the scientist working on the Sudur Havid that day, tells the story in Last Man Off.




UK, US and German Editions

When men come to like a sea-life

They are not fit to live on land.

Samuel Johnson



"This compelling account of survival on the high seas reads like a sinister version of The Perfect Storm."

(Brian Schofield in The Sunday Times, 13/07/14)


"As true-life tales of endurance and survival go, Matt Lewis's is one of the most dramatic in recent memory,"

(Alexander Larman in The Observer)


"Time has only lent sharpness to the account which, 16 years on, has a dreamlike precision"

(Brian Morton in The Herald, 26/07/14)


"A heart-thumping tale of tragedy and survival - minus the Hollywood ending"

(James Owen in The Telegraph, 03/08/14)


Maritime Media Awards 2014

The Mountbatten Maritime Award for

best literary contribution

Certificate of Merit

“For his compelling account of the hardships of fishing in remote Antarctic waters, and of what it means to abandon ship in a severe storm with inadequate equipment and a crew unprepared for survival. The book is objective but non-judgmental in its descriptiveness, so heightening the true sense of disaster. The style makes the book accessible to a wide public, but it is also essential reading for seafarers, fishermen and yachtsmen, as it concerns attitudes to safety and survival. A truly life-affirming and influential work.”


The Sunday Times 

Top Ten Bestseller

Paperback available now