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The Rescue – Tom Crean at the Falkland Islands

On this day at Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands, after the first failed attempt to rescue the stranded men from Elephant Island, Tom Crean was met and greeted by a fellow Kerryman, Tralee-born Daniel John O’Sullivan, as he disembarked the whaler, the Southern Sky.

The Rescue – Tom Crean at the Falkland Islands Tom Crean BookThe Southern Sky wasn’t able to penetrate the thick pack ice and the first of four attempts had to be abandoned.

To the left here we see Tom Crean stood left alongside Sir Ernest Shackleton, the Norwegian captain, Ingvar Thom and Frank Worsley.

Daniel progressed in his career to become the Chief Constable of the Falkland Islands police force and he never forgot his good friend Tom Crean. In 1926, ten years after their last meeting, Daniel travelled to Annascaul to visit Crean and no doubt they recalled the epic tale of rescue that was played out in the Southern hemisphere, Crean’s second home.

Daniel too had an interesting story after buying his way out of the Navy for £12 in 1901. He’d served seven of his 12-yr tenure when he decided to remain in the Falklands taking his leave of HMS Flora, part of the Navy’s South East Coast of America Station based at Port Stanley. He would later distinguish himself as a hero after witnessing an Italian man falling into the depths from a small fishing boat. Fully-clothed, Daniel wasted little time diving into the waters to perform a brave lifesaving rescue.

The image of Daniel as Chief Constable of the Falkland Island Police, (below), is one that features on the Falkland Island Government’s website.
For Tom Crean, it must have been comforting to meet and hear a fellow countryman at what was a stressful time for himself, Shackleton and Worsley.

The Rescue – Tom Crean at the Falkland Islands Tom Crean Book

The Elephant Island rescue attempt aboard Southern Sky was to be the first of four and each time, the ice proved to be the main barrier.

To read Tom Crean’s story, in a fully-referenced and accurate account that recently necessitated substantial revisions to the official account of his life, visit the following link.

Biography of Tom Crean – Crean – The Extraordinary Life of an Irish Hero