In August 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton and 27 crew members of the ship Endurance began the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition with the goal of being the first team to travel to the South Pole and completely traverse the continent of Antarctica. They failed to achieve that objective, but their triumph in the face of the extreme challenges they encountered over the next two years is a dramatic example of triumph over adversity. In January 1915, the ship became trapped in the ice in the Weddell Sea, and the crew camped on the ice for ten months while waiting for the ship to break free. After the ship was crushed, several attempts were made to drag three lifeboats on sledges across the ice toward land. When this proved too difficult, the decision was made to wait until the ice cleared and then sail and row the lifeboats to Elephant Island. After a brief recuperation there, Shackleton and five crew members sailed a 22.5-foot lifeboat to South Georgia Island. This voyage required navigating 800 miles through some of the roughest seas on the planet with only the most basic equipment and limited supplies of rations and water. After two weeks at sea, the party landed on the opposite side of South Georgia Island from a whaling station. Shackleton and two others hiked 26 miles across icebergs and mountain ridges in the interior of the island and arrived at the whaling station on May 20, 1916. Over the next three months, three ships attempting to reach the 22 crew members who had remained on Elephant Island had to turn back due to their inability to navigate through the ice surrounding the island. The fourth attempt was successful, and by August 1916 all of the crew members had been rescued. Since then, Shackleton has been hailed a hero for his leadership.