The New York Times
August 11, 1947
Kon-Tiki Trip Ends on Pacific Reef; Party Safe After 4,000-Mile Drift

                By Thor Heyerdahl
                Leader of the Kon-Tiki Pacific Raft Expedition
                North American Newspaper Alliance

                Raroia Reef, Tuamotu Archipelago, Aug. 7 (delayed) - The Kon-Tiki Raft
                is on the reef here. The six of us who were its crew are safe and unhurt
                on an uninhabited island.

                This marks the conclusion - and, as such, the success- of our expedition
                that set out April 28 from Peru to drift across the Pacific, as pre-Inca
                voyagers are believed to have drifted from South America to Polynesia.

                In the nearly fifteen weeks we have made the drift of more than 4,000 miles
                in the flow of the Peruvian (Humboldt) and South Equatorial Currents.

                After three days of trying to get around long, low Raroia Reef, a spot in the
                French Tuamotu Islands at about Latitude 16.30 South and 144.3 West-
                we finally were drawn right in among the coral rocks. As there was no choice
                left to us, we directed the raft right into the roaring twenty-five-foot waves that
                broke in the area. All men were ordered to cling to the basic nine logs that form
                the body of the raft. When 600 yards from shore, we grounded on a low, half
                submerged mass of coral. Giant breakers came in and threw us onto other rocks,
                each a little closer to shore.

                The balsa-wood raft was taking an awful beating. Our hut was smashed to bits,
                and our hardwood mast was carried away. The steering oar went, and the
                cross logs from the stern and the bow.

                But the main logs held together, and we all clung to them, hoping for a chance
                to leap from them to some protruding coral and make our way along them to shore.

                Finally our chance came. We jumped onto some sharply pointed coral, along
                which we made our way 500 yards to shore. We are still there, on a tiny
                uninhabited island.

                We have made several trips out to the marooned logs which constitute the
                remains of our raft, and have rescued most of our equipment. We also have
                our water and food supplies, and we are sleeping under the large Kin-Tiki sail-
                now stretched between two trees.

                We will try to get the remaining logs into some quiet lagoon near here, and
                possibly we will be able to find some natives who can help us salvage the remains.

                We are all in good condition and feel thankful that we have been able to
                save such things as food, water and an improvised radio.

                Made Landfall on July 30

                The Kon-Tiki Raft party reported first sighting land- Pukapuka Island in
                the Tuamotas- on July 30. It drifted about 260 miles more before hitting
                Raroia Reef.

                The expedition left the port of Callao, Peru, on April 28 with the avowed
                purpose of testing the theory of its leader, Thor Heyerdahl, 32-year-old
                ethnologist, that the Pacific islands were originally settled by migrating
                peoples from prehistoric America.

                The fifteen-ton raft was set adrift in the Peruvian (Humboldt) and South
                Equatorial Currents, which sweep near the Peruvian coast on a swing
                northward and then westward through the Pacific. The raft was designed to
                reassemble as closely as possible rafts used by the prehistoric inhabitants of
                Peru. It was constructed of logs of balsa wood and bamboo lashed together
                with rope.

                The voyage, which involved several encounters with sharks and at least two
                severe storms, reached the half-way mark of its journey of 4,000 miles on
                June 11, when it reported a position 108 degrees West, 6 degrees 20 minutes

                Dr. Heyerdahl was accompanied by five Scandinavian scientists, among them
                Lieut. Kurt Haugland, formerly of Norway's underground forces, who
                received the British Distinguished Service Order for his part in sabotaging the
                heavy-water plant at Rjukan in Norway during the war and took part in
                campaigns in Arctic Norway.

                Other members of the party were Herman Watziner, second in command,
                who directed the building of the raft; Bengt Danielsson, Swedish sociologist
                and ethnologist; Erik Hesselberg, navigating officer, and Torstein Raaby,
                writer, painter and photographer.

                Kon-Tiki was the name given to the Sun God by the ancient Peruvians.

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