The History has come to consider the James Caird's voyage as one of the greatest small-boat journeys ever accomplished.
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In October 1915 the expedition's ship, the Endurance, had been crushed and sunk by pack ice in the Weddell Sea, leaving Shackleton and the crew stranded on an unreliable ice surface thousands of miles from safety. During the following months the party drifted northward until April 1916, when the floe on which they were camped broke up. They then made their way in the ship's lifeboats to the remote and inaccessible Elephant Island, where Shackleton quickly decided that the most effective means of obtaining relief for his beleaguered party would be to sail one of the lifeboats to South Georgia.
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