Jonathan Franklin is an award-winning journalist published in 30 languages around the world. He regularly reports for the Guardian, Washington Post, Dagbladet, Der Spiegel, Jerusalem Post, Sydney Morning Herald and Rolling Stone magazine, among many others. His investigative reporting has been used by CBS 60 Minutes, A&E TV, The BBC and numerous documentary productions worldwide. Franklin lives with his wife Toty Garfe and their six daughters in Santiago, Chile. His coverage of the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground attracted worldwide attention and his non-fiction book on the subject, The 33, was published to great acclaim in 2011.
Jonathan’s latest book, 438 Days, the story of Jose Salvador Alvarenga, the Salvadorian fisherman who was adrift in the Pacific Ocean for 14 months on a small boat, will be published by Macmillan in the UK and Atria in the US in Autumn 2015.
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438 DAYS: A Fisherman’s True Survival at Sea – Buy it here
The incredible true survival story of one man’s record-break 438 days lost at sea
On 17th November, 2012, Salvador Alvarenga left the coast of Mexico for a two-day fishing trip. A vicious storm killed his engine and the current dragged his boat out to sea. The storm picked up and carried him West, deeper into the heart of the Pacific Ocean. Alvarenga would not touch solid ground again for 14 months. When he was washed ashore on January 30th, 2014, he had drifted over 9,000 miles.
Three dozen cruise ships and container vessels passed nearby. Not one stopped for the stranded fisherman. He considered suicide on multiple occasions – including offering himself up to a pack of circling sharks. But Alvarenga developed a method of survival that kept his body and mind intact long enough for the Pacific Ocean to spit him up onto a remote palm-studded island. Crawling ashore, he was saved by a local couple living in their own private castaway paradise.
Based on dozens of hours of interviews with Alvarenga and his colleagues, search and rescue officials, the medical team that saved his life and the remote islanders who nursed him back to normality, this is an epic tale of survival and one man’s incredible story of beating the ultimate odds.
PUBLISHER: Pan Macmillan
PUBLICATION DATE: 8th October 2015
Buy it here.
On 12 October 2010 the world’s attention was fixed on a remote copper mine in the Atacama desert in Chile. Final preparations were underway for a daring rescue to bring to an end the longest underground entrapment in human history.
69 days earlier, 33 men were midway through a routine shift, deep in the San Jose mine. They stopped for lunch at the tiny safety shelter, 688 meters below the surface. Ten minutes later they heard an almighty crack and a deep rumbling sound. Clouds of dust and debris poured down on the choking men. The bombardment lasted for five hours. When it finally cleared the men discovered they were trapped under tonnes of collapsed rock.
17 days after the collapse, a drill finally reached them. They sent a note back to the surface: “We are well inside the shelter, the 33.”
Building on the exclusive access he was given by the rescue team, and dozens of hours of interviews with the miners themselves, Jonathan Franklin takes us deep into the collapsed mine with the men, and behind the scenes of the rescue effort to bring them back to life.
For 17 days, hope slowly turned to desperation and then resignation as the miners prepared themselves for a slow agonising death. When a drill finally got through to the men, they still had over seven weeks to wait until they were freed. What those men experienced in the claustrophobic dark of the mine, how their families kept faith, and the unprecedented scale of the rescue make this an unforgettable story of how hope overcame fear, ingenuity triumphed over adversity and how 33 trapped men and the rescuers dedicated to saving them created a miracle in the desert.
“This is the feel-good story we’ve been longing to hear…” –The Guardian (audiobook review)
“Franklin unearths new dimensions to the story and creates a work of both literary beauty and graphic horror.” —Sunday Express
“Franklin does a fine job of recreating the drama.” –The Times