With the prize of the South Pole claimed by Amundsen, Shackleton returned to Antarctica to attempt the first ever crossing of the continent. His ship the Endurance was crushed by sea ice in the Weddell Sea so Shackleton and his crew were forced to sail to Elephant Island in three small open boats. Incredibly Shackleton and five companions then sailed over 700 miles in 15 days in a small boat to South Georgia Island where, after crossing glacier clad mountains, they reached a whaling station. From there a rescue boat finally reached Elephant Island on the fourth attempt and rescued all hand safely.