By Sir Wilfred Grenfell
Adrift on an Ice Pan is the story that made Sir Wilfred Grenfell a folk hero. It is the timeless first-person account of one of the most well-known events in the famous doctor’s life. While working in St. Anthony, Newfoundland, at the turn of the century, a dog team arrived to summon Dr. Grenfell to a medical emergency. While crossing a frozen sea, the ice broke up under his dogsled and he, his sled and dogs were thrown into the ocean. Grenfell managed to save his dogs and himself by scrambling to a piece of ice but his supplies were lost and he was floating out to sea. Cold and wet, he found it necessary to kill his beloved dogs and use their skins to keep warm, to stay alive. Adrift on an Ice Pan is a dramatic record of human survival and holds the same fascination as that of the adventure of Alexander Selkirk (1676-1721, the Scottish sailor whose experiences during five years on an uninhabited island provided the framework for William Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.