I felt this episode needed a thread of its own. Wow. Amazing episode. This one hit a bit close to home for me. I've never been on a 50-foot steel hull sailboat in the Antarctic, but I've done a fair amount of sailing on a 44-foot fiberglass sailboat in the North Atlantic. I've been tossed around in some fairly nasty storms, with 60 knot winds and 20 foot seas, but nothing like that storm. During those storms, everybody is puking, but you still have to do your job. Help is a long ways away. I did a little checking online. The Berserk's ELT beacon went off on Feb 22, so this all happened about 5 months ago. Sounds like the entire expedition was actually... illegal... as it violated every Antarctic treaty. There's also speculation that the boat was overloaded. I can't believe the NZ Navy vessel lost three 50-man life rafts. No wonder they had to turn around. I have to commend the aqua hippies for their effort. Finding the life raft at the end at least gives pretty good proof the vessel sunk. As was mentioned, life rafts can be deployed manually, but they will also automatically deploy at a certain depth (aka, as the vessel sinks). However, the condition of the raft at the end means it probably wouldn't have made a difference if the crew managed to get aboard.