On August, 1914, the plan was that they would cross the treacherous Weddell Sea and land at Vahsel Bay. The Weddell Sea was known for its crushing ice. 28 men, including Ernest Shackleton, boarded the Endurance.
By January, 1915, the ice was too treacherous to move through and the Endurance was stuck. Shackleton announced they’d spend the winter on ice. When the ship began to crack after, Shackleton ordered his men to set up camp using the remains of the ship and for the four weakest sled dog pups and the carpenter’s cat Mrs. Chippy to be shot.
The crew built camp on ice until the ship finally sank on November 21. They settled for a three months stay. The rest of the dogs were eaten and by April, the floe they were surviving on began to break and they were forced onto three lifeboats. They arrived a week later on Elephant island, the first land they’d seen in 497 days. From there, Shackleton set out on one of the lifeboats with five men and month’s worth of provinces while the rest of the crew stayed behind and made shelter out of the two remaining rafts.
On May 20, they at last reached civilization. And on Aug. 30, 1916, the last of the men were rescued and safe.