A remarkable true story of courage and perseverance — and a wake-up call.
December 2014: in the forbidding waters off Antarctica, Captain Hammarstedt of the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker embarks on a voyage unlike any seen before. Across ten thousand miles of hazardous seas, Hammerstedt’s crew will relentlessly pursue the Thunder — an infamous illegal fishing ship — for what will become the longest chase in maritime history. Wanted by Interpol, the Thunder has for years evaded justice: accumulating millions in profits, hunting endangered species, and ruthlessly destroying ocean habitats.
The authors follow this incredible expedition from its very beginning. Yet even as seasoned journalists, they cannot anticipate what the chase will uncover, as the wake of the Thunder leads them to trail of criminal kingpins, rampant corruption, modern slavery, and an international community content to turn a blind eye. Soon, catching Thunder becomes more than a chase but a pursuit of the truth itself and a symbolic race to preserve the well-being of our planet.
About the Author
Eskil Engdal has worked as a feature journalist at the Norwegian broadsheet Dagens Naeringsliv for more than 20 years. He has won the prestigious SKUP journalism award for outstanding investigative reporting (2001), the International Reporter’s Journalism Award (2012), and the Golden Pen (2013).
Kjetil Saeter has worked as a journalist for the broadsheets Aftenposten and Finansavisen, and currently as feature writer for Dagens Naeringsliv. He has won two SKUP diplomas (2007 and 2010), the SKUP award (2011), and the Schibsted Journalism Award (2008).
`An uproarious adventure ... The book's short chapters read like urgent frontline bulletins.' -Spectator
`A clarion call for those who want to save our seas.' -National Geographic Traveller
`Catching Thunder is about more than just the pursuit of one ship, however. Its main focus is the years-long efforts to track these vessels and their mysterious owners on both sea and land. Beyond attempts to bring the ships' owners to justice, the book explores the challenges involved in trying to police international waters far from populated areas.' -Post Magazine
`This is a modern pirate story, but the plunder isn't pieces of eight-it's the Patagonian Toothfish, as valuable as narcotics. The pirate ship, the eponymous Thunder, was one of a number specialising in the illegal, million-dollar trawling of endangered species.' -Sydney Morning Herald
`A sensational new book.' -Maritime Executive
`The authors take readers on a journey as they seek to come face-to-face with those profiting from poaching, and realise the challenges involved in bringing them to justice ... Engdal and Saeter track down players on both sides, telling the story from all angles. We get the experiences of the environmental-ists, the officers on the fishing vessels, the Indonesian crews, and even of those involved in the operations on land.' -South China Morning Post
`Engdal and Saeter are to journalism what Jagger and Richards are to rock and roll-sexy, irreverent, and brilliant.' -Luke Harding, Guardian journalist and author of The Snowden Files
`Captain Hammarstedt's bravery and spirit ride as high as the bow of the Bob Barker. True adventure, life and death moments, and real life heroism: what reader could ask for more?' -Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA
`The pursuit of the Thunder has become celebrated folklore by those of us fighting to protect our oceans. This is a captivating story, one which highlights the weaknesses in the global system but also, ultimately, gives us hope.' -Tony Long, CEO of Global Fishing Watch
`This is the story of our time: the blind destruction of the oceans and our ecosphere, and the actions of those with the courage to stand up and confront it.' -Peter Heller, author of The Whale Warriors and Celine
`This is long-form investigative journalism at its finest. A riveting and thorough account of how complicated crime syndicates manoeuvre through murky globalised channels and how multilateral efforts by law enforcement agencies worldwide attempt to distribute justice.' STARRED REVIEW -Library Journal
`Delivers a true story that reads like a spy novel, peppered with scary organised crime villains, charismatic environmental activists and Interpol agents, and enough tidbits about sailing treacherous seas, commercial fishing, and endangered species to satisfy the most dedicated nautical adventure fan.' -Foreword Reviews
`Engdal and Saeter shine a broad light on maritime crimes committed in international waters by mixing in other stories of outlaw ships.' -Publishers Weekly
`In this true account, two Norwegian investigative journalists follow the expedition, from start to finish, in a piece that begins about illegal fishing, but that quickly spirals into an epic tale of corruption, slavery and criminal kingpins.' -GQ Australia
`Engdal and Saeter are energetic writers with a sense of pace and cinematic detail ... an exciting read.' -The Spectator Australia
`[A] remarkable true story ... catching Thunder becomes not only a chase but a pursuit of the truth itself and a symbolic race to preserve the well-being of our planet.' -Chain Reaction
`Written like an action novel, this leaves no doubt who the bad guys and the heroes are.' -Weekend Herald, Auckland