Independent Lens: Deep Water
The true story of the fateful voyage of Donald Crowhurst
Aired Tuesday, 8/18 at 9 p.m. on CPTV
The year is 1968. The public frenzy surrounding the heroic voyage of Francis Chichester, who single-handedly sailed around the world with only one stop in Australia a year earlier, has barely died down. To up the ante, The Sunday Times of London announces the first nonstop solo round-the-world sailing race. There are two prizes: the Golden Globe for the first man home and £5,000 for the fastest voyage.
Along with the seasoned sailors responding to the call of fame and fortune on the high seas is one Donald Crowhurst. A 36-year-old father of four, Crowhurst is a dreamer whose marine electronics business is ailing. Although he is far from being a world-class mariner, Crowhurst decides he should enter the race, and with each step he takes to prepare, he becomes increasingly unable to turn back. Compelled to go forward and urged on by others, he sets off in his small boat dangerously late, waving to his young wife and four children on the shore. Following the voyages of Crowhurst and the eight other competitors, DEEP WATER gradually reveals what happens to the participants as they sail off alone into the unchartered waters of the human soul.
A riveting story of life, death and a dream that went wildly wrong, DEEP WATER features a voiceover by recent Academy Award® winner Tilda Swinton, interviews with survivors and their families, and astonishing archival footage shot by the actual competitors during their year at sea.