OCTOBER 26: Teen stows away on ship bound for Antarctica

inON THIS DAY: October 26

ON THIS DATE 1914, nineteen-year-old Perce Blackborow stowed aboard the Endurance, a ship docked in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and bound for the Antarctic. A native of Whales, he had been stranded in Argentina without a ship. When expedition leader Ernest Shackleton learned of Blackborow’s presence on the vessel he made him a steward but said, “If anyone has to be eaten, then you will be the first!” The young sailor would suffer frostbite in his toes and eventually have his left foot amputated. He was the first person to ever step foot on Elephant Island, an ice-covered mountainous island off the coast of Antarctica.

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