Chapter no 100

Life of Pi

Mr. Okamoto, in his letter to me, recalled the interrogation as having been “difficult and memorable. “He remembered Piscine Molitor Patel as being “very thin, very tough, very bright.

His report, in its essential part, ran as follows:

Sole survivor could shed no light on reasons for sinking of Tsimtsum. Ship appears to have sunk very quickly, which would indicate a major hull breach. Important quantity of debris would support this theory. But precise reason of breach impossible to determine. No major weather disturbance reported that day in quadrant.

Survivor’s assessment of weather impressionistic and unreliable. At most, weather a contributing factor. Cause was perhaps internal to ship. Survivor believes he heard an explosion, hinting at a major engine problem, possibly the explosion of a boiler, but this is specidation. Ship twenty-nine years old (Erlandson and Skank Shipyards, Malmó, 1948), refitted in 1970. Stress of weather combined with structural fatigue a possibility, but conjecture. No other ship mishap reported in area on that day, so ship-ship collision imlikely. Collision with debris a possibility, but unverifiable. Collision with a floating mine might explain explosion, but seems fanciful, besides highly unlikely as sinking started at stern, which in all likelihood would mean that hull breach was at stern too. Survivor cast doubts on fitness of crew but had nothing



You can turn that off.

to say about officers. Oika Shipping Company claims all cargo absolutely licit and not aware of any officer or crew problems.

Cause of sinking impossible to determine from

available evidence. Standard insurance claim procedure for Oika. No further action required. Recommend that case be closed.

As an aside, story of sole survivor, Mr. Piscine Molitor Patel, Indian citizen, is an astounding story of courage and endurance in the face of extraordinarily difficult and tragic circumstances. In the experience of this investigator, his story is unparalleled in the history of shipwrecks. Very few castaways can claim to have-survived so long at sea as Mr. Patel, and none in the company of an adult Bengal tiger.

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