Frank Arthur Worsley (1872 - 1943)

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Capt. Frank A. Worsley, Polar Navigator's Geni Profile

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Birthplace: Akaroa, New Zealand
Death: Died in Claygate, England
Cause of death: lung cancer
Managed by: Elizabeth-Gaye Jeans
Last Updated:

About Frank Arthur Worsley

Frank Arthur Worsley DSO OBE RD (22 February 1872 – 1 February 1943) was a New Zealand sailor and explorer who served on Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914–1916, as captain of the Endurance. He also served in the Royal Navy Reserve during the First World War.

Born in Akaroa, New Zealand, on 22 February 1872, Worsley joined the New Zealand Shipping Company in 1888. He served aboard several vessels running trade routes between New Zealand, England and the South Pacific. While on South Pacific service, he became renowned for his ability to navigate to tiny, remote islands. He joined the Royal Navy Reserve in 1902 and served on HMS Swiftsure for a year before returning to the Merchant Navy. In 1914, he joined the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, which aimed to cross the Antarctic continent.

After the expedition's ship Endurance was trapped in ice and wrecked, he and the rest of the expedition sailed three lifeboats to Elephant Island, off the Antarctic Peninsula. From here, he, along with Shackleton and four others, sailed the 22-foot (6.7 m) lifeboat James Caird some 800 miles (1,300 km) across the stormy South Atlantic Ocean, eventually arriving at their intended destination, South Georgia. His navigation skills were crucial to the safe arrival of the James Caird. Shackleton, Worsley and seaman Tom Crean then walked across South Georgia in a 36-hour march to fetch help from Stromness whaling station. He and Shackleton returned to Elephant Island aboard a whaling ship to rescue the remaining members of the expedition.

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Capt. Frank A. Worsley, Polar Navigator's Timeline

Akaroa, New Zealand
Age 35
Age 48
Age 71
Claygate, England