It was August 1942 and the freighter SS West Lashaway was off the coast of South America, bound for the United States. The ship's "cargo" included a handful of missionaries and their children who had fled the advance of the German army in Africa. On Sunday, August 30, as they moved through placid waters, the war seems very distant, until at 2:31 P.M. a shrieking alarm pierced the stillness and the seaman on watch yelled out: "Torpedo wake, starboard amidships!!"
This is a true story of a German U-boat attack, a ship's sinking, and a terrible twenty-day ordeal that follows as nineteen people crowd onto a raft, a crude packing crate floating on empty oil drums, and drift on aimlessly, surrounded by ever-present, ever-hungry sharks.
Adventure, courage, the triumph of the human spirit - and the commandment of love - all are part of this unusually moving and gripping tale of disaster overcome and enmity vanquished.