This chapter begins with a dramatic line: "The ship sank." After that event, Pi is in the lifeboat, screaming for Richard Parker to swim to the boat. Pi screams at heaven, throws first a life buoy, then an oar, to try to save Richard Parker, who finally makes it on board. In the chapter's last paragraph there is another telling line, "Truly I was to be the next goat."
This chapter marks the beginning of Pi's tremendous ordeal, but also demonstrates how his mind works. In the lifeboat in the heat of the moment, Pi calls to heaven for explanations, always seeking divine meaning even in the midst of loss. He also tries to save Richard Parker, calling for him as if he were a human; the chapter does not reveal that Richard Parker is an animal until the final paragraph, showing how Pi's world view treats animals as human.