Brett Archibald
SA nonfiction
April 2016


In April 2013 a global breaking-news story surfaced on social media and in the world press, and rapidly gathered momentum. A South African man had fallen overboard in the night during a storm in remote Indonesian waters, without anyone else on board realising. Eight hours later a frantic search was underway.
The incident caught the world’s attention as readers were instantly transported into the terror of the moment – imagine being left alone, 100 kilometres out to sea in the middle of a storm, watching your friends sail into the distance…
Had he been dealt a fraction more bad luck, Brett would have died immediately. According to the experts, he should have died within 10 to 14 hours. But he chose not to die. Instead for 28-and-a-half hours Brett Archibald endured – the ocean, the elements, the creatures of the deep, and his own inner demons.
Alone: The Search For Brett Archibald is the incredible but true story of what it takes to defy needle-in-a-haystack odds and survive what should have been certain death. Outdoor savvy, astonishing imagination, mental toughness, a refusal to give up hope and a canny rescuer with an unbelievable background ultimately saw him through. Most of all this is a story of the power of the human spirit that defies rational explanation.

Alone was published in the UK and Australasia by Little, Brown in 2016, and in the US and Canada by St Martin’s Press in 2017. It has also been, or will be, published in Germany, France and Italy.


Brett Archibald is an international businessman and entrepreneur, who built an impressive global career, which included directorship positions with a worldwide hospitality and travel corporation in Johannesburg, Sydney, Hong Kong and London. He now lives in Cape Town where he is the chairman and shareholder of an event and hospitality company.


"Solitude is terrifying and awe-inspiring in Alone." – The Wall Street Journal

"This survival tale pairs action with emotion and feels ready-made for the big screen." – Publishers Weekly, USA

"Archibald has written a grip-the-edge-of-the-seat tense drama of his astonishing experience in April 2013...His true story is courageous, enlightening and incredibly moving." – Shelf Awareness, USA

"I was at the Epic Kayak offices in the USA when I heard Brett had fallen overboard. I followed the story closely on Facebook but after 12 hours I turned to Greg Barton [Olympic gold medallist] and said, “There’s no way anyone can survive longer than that in the ocean – I certainly couldn’t do it.” This is an incredible, incredible story." – Oscar Chalupsky, 12 times Molokai World Champion; multiple paddling, Iron Man & lifesaving champion; one of the world’s great watermen 

“Three years ago I kept track in the newspapers of Brett Archibald's disappearance at sea in Indonesia and ultimately of his rescue too, but I could never have thought I would be so affected by his story. I was incredibly surprised at how intensely this book affected me emotionally and how involved in the events I felt… This fascinating book includes many life lessons that can be applied in your own life. I will never again gloss over a similar news story without thinking of Brett Archibald and his miracle rescue." – Phyllis Green, Sarie [review translated from Afrikaans]

"A great read. Just make sure you’ve got a free weekend because you’re not going to put it down… Hectic doesn’t even begin to describe it” – Pippa Hudson, CapeTalk 

"A must-read… will have you captivated to the very last page” – Kim Brown, 


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