November 9th, 1942. Amid the cloaking gloom of the Liverpool docks lay the Dunedin Star. A ship of the Blue Star Line, she was bound for the Middle East, her consignment of munitions for the 8th Army supplemented by twenty-one fare-paying civilians escaping the Blitz for the colonies, all forced to take the long haul round the Cape. Three weeks into her voyage, her hull mysteriously holed, Dunedin Star ran aground off Namibia's infamous Skeleton Coast - five hundred miles of raging surf and burning desert, the most violent and desolate shore on earth. Sixty-three men, women and children were to defy mountainous waves and unfathomable odds to reach land ...but their struggle for survival had only just begun.
Jeff Dawson is the author of Tarantino: Inside Story, and Back Home: England and the 1970 World Cup. A former US editor of Empire magazine he writes on film and travel for The Sunday Times.