THE BOMBARD STORY. by Dr. Alain Bombard (Andre Deutsch,
1L HEappalling fact revealed in this H this is that more than 200,000 men and women lose their lives at sea every year. And more than 50,000 of these die in the lifeboats.
The French doctor-author was convinced from his studies on land that an enormous number die not
from thirst or hunger but from a lack of knowledge and courage. 'they
think they are lost-and they die before (some of them a long time before) their physical capabilities should be seriously imperilled. He proved to his own satisfaction (on land) that the talk about sea water making mad those who drink it was an old salt's tale. He believed that the sea holds enough food to
keep life going quite well for an unpredictable but certainly long period, even months. Above all, he believed that while there's hope there's life.
To convince others, however, he must put himself in the condition of a castaway. He must cross the Atlan tic in a rubber dinghy ("L'Heritque"). He must feed solely on the flesh of the fish he could catch and the plankton he could gathez from the sea. If rain water was not fb he had, he must drink only sea water and the liquid he could squeeze out of fish. And he did it-he has proved that he did it-on his lone voyage of 65 days.
It did not rain during the first 23 days. He drank sea water for 14 days in all and fish juice for 43 days. He is alive and in good health.
He found an enormous abundance of fish in that part of the ocean where men had told him he would find no fish at all. Bait? Why, there was a glut of it in the flying fish that crashed against his little sail and deposited themselves in the dinghy.
The Bombard Story must surely take a place beside the greatest stories of high adventure on the high seas.
Its revelation of facts in place of baseless fears and theories opens up
prospects of saving an untold num
ber of lives not only at sea but in all kinds of tough circumstances where the chief need of imperilled man is not a helping hand from others but hope in his own heart, and faith in
all-bountiful Providence. M. Q.